McDonald's Next Opens in Hong Kong

March 10, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. prototype / ˈproʊ təˌtaɪp / (n.) – a model on which something is based
Example: This branch is a prototype for future restaurants.  

2. ambient / ˈæm bi ənt / (adj.) – describes something that brings relaxation
Example: The restaurant’s ambient lighting helped me relax after a long day at work.   

3. premium / ˈpri mi əm / (adj.) – of better quality
Example: The premium chocolates are more expensive.

4. downturn / ˈdaʊnˌtɜrn / (n.) – decrease
Example: The company let many employees go because of the downturn in the economy.

5. palate / ˈpæl ɪt / (n.) – a person’s sense of taste
Example: The Japanese restaurant adjusted its menu to suit the Filipinos’ palate.


Read the text below.
McDonald's Next, McDonald’s innovative new store, is now open in Hong Kong.

In December 2015, McDonald's renovated its branch in Hong Kong's Admiralty neighborhood into a McDonald's Next. The restaurant, a prototype for a new class of branches, differs from the regular McDonald's branch in several ways. The restaurant still serves the regular menu, but offers healthier options. It has a salad bar that features two choices of salad base greens, quinoa [KEEN-wah], couscous [KOOS-koos], and asparagus. In addition, burgers can be customized via a touchscreen ordering machine.

Aside from the updated menu, the restaurant boasts several technological upgrades to improve overall customer experience. These include wireless mobile phone chargers, free wi-fi, and self-ordering kiosks. Inside the restaurant, the intense lighting and red-and-yellow color scheme have been replaced with ambient lighting and a muted black-and-white color scheme. Table service after 6:00 pm and premium coffee are also offered.

The branch renovation came about as part of McDonald's plan to overhaul its business model following disappointing first-quarter results in 2015, which included an 11 percent slide in revenue and a 2.3 percent drop in sales. The past downturn is explained by greater competition in the fast food industry and higher demand for healthier food among customers.

McDonald’s Next is just one of the company’s initiatives to improve their image worldwide. In the United States, the company started serving kale. It also announced that it will stop using eggs from caged hens. Meanwhile, McDonald’s Canada adapted their menu to the local palate by introducing premium pastries—a Canadian favorite—on their McCafé menu.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Are fast food restaurants popular in your country? Why or why not?
·         What other types of food would you like fast food restaurants to serve?

Discussion B

·         What healthy food do you like to eat?
·         What changes in your lifestyle can you make to improve your health?

March 10, 2016