This McDonald’s is as pretty as an Apple Store

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Is this an Apple Store or a McDonald's?
Is this an Apple Store or a McDonald's?
Photo: McDonald's

People dropping into the new Apple Store in Chicago might be surprised to find that it’s actually a McDonald’s. This fast-food chain’s new flagship restaurant bears a strong resemblance to Apple’s retail stores.

The similarities are more than skin deep. The McDonald’s location strives to be as environmentally friendly as an Apple Store.

The 19,000-square-foot steel-and-wood-timber restaurant was inspired by “McDonald’s commitment to sustainability,” according to a statement from the company. There are more than 70 trees on the ground level, and a vegetated roof space.

Trees are an important part of the new Chicago flagship McDonald's design.
Trees are an important part of the new Chicago McDonald’s design.
Photo: McDonald’s

This should sound familiar. Trees are a notable part of the Apple Store in San Francisco‘s Union Square. And the new Seattle Apple Store has a roof planted in sedum flowers.

Plenty of extra space is a feature of Apple’s newest retail locations. The Chicago restaurant offers “plazas with outdoor seating and a park area.”

Renewable energy for McDonald’s and Apple

The huge restaurant chain put a solar panel array in its new Chicago location to offset part of the restaurant’s non-renewable energy consumption. Apple is run on 100 percent renewable energy.

The restaurant does have a couple of features Apple Stores don’t: it operates seven days a week and 24 hours a day, serving both drive-thru and dine-in customers.

Apple has to be accustomed to other companies copying it. But it’s usually Samsung or Huawei, not a fast-food chain. Still, companies know a good idea when they see it.