It's an open secret that the city of London's Olympic bid was nothing more than a brazen attempt to lure America's most popular fast food corporations to open up franchises in that dusty, far flung corner of the world. Now The Guardian reports London is finally getting what it craves: its very first fifty-first McDonald's.
This one will be huge. The biggest in the world. Bigger even than the McDonald's a couple towns over from where you live that includes a PlayPlace.
It will also be fleeting, like a young athlete's shot at glory or the patience of a surly McDonald's cashier.
The restaurant, a two-story "chalet-style building" has already been constructed in Stratford, east London, just outside the Olympic stadium. It will operate for six weeks, serving an estimated 50,000 Big Mac burgers and 180,000 portions of fries to a super duper high Michael Phelps. It has seating for 1,500 people, but can accommodate an additional 500 waiting to order food. Its restrooms do not feature tiles but, rather, "tile-effect vinyl wall paper" because people are dogs and dogs don't get tiles.
The Guardian reports that the place will be staffed by 2,000 "hand-picked" "top-performing" employees, which means you can one hundred percent guarantee someone involved has described the gig as "a sort of Olympics for McDonald's employees." These folks will be wearing sad mustard-colored uniforms inspired by the fashions of Mad Men, an AMC drama series about an elite group of fast food employees. (Though they're rolling them out for the Olympic crew first, the uniforms will eventually become standard for all U.K. McDonald's employees. Everyone is Mad Men now. It's a very chic time to be alive.)
Following the Games' conclusion, the building will be dismantled and 75 percent of it re-used or recycled; most of the raw materials will likely end up right back inside McDonald's very own foodish products.
But though this McDonald's is destined to become the hottest daytime discothèque in old London Town, don't expect to see the athletes, whose very livelihoods depend upon their abilities to keeping their bodies in peak physical condition, queuing up to scarf down apple pies.
(Because they have their own smaller McDonald's in the Athletes' village.)