McDonald’s plans to break its own record for the 2012 Olympics and establish the world’s largest branch in Stratford. The goal is for the restaurant to become the busiest in the world and hold 1,500 people. It will be two-storeys and 300 square metres, as one of four restaurants built around the Olympics site.
The fast-food chain maintains that its own ideals and standards meet those of the Olympics and Paralympics, though it plans to serve 1.75 million meals during the games, which span nearly a month.
Jill McDonald, chief executive in the UK, said, “To be involved in the greatest sporting event on earth is hugely exciting … We want everyone who visits our Olympics park restaurants to have the best possible customer experience, and are confident that the look and feel of these cutting-edge designs will provide that environment.”
McDonald’s has had exclusive deals with the Olympics and the World Cup, having sponsored both in the long term. These deals make McDonald’s the only restaurant allowed to show its brand on the site.
However, the presence of the food giant is likely to attract protests, as many feel that the Olympics should not be associated with food brands that are potentially unhealthy, or at least have that image. The Games are thought of as extremely healthy by contrast.
The organising committee in London says that it relies on its own domestic sponsors, who have raised £700 million, along with the International Olympic Committee’s 11 backers, in order to fund two-thirds of the budget—which is £2 billion. The organisers detail a large range of food available at the Games, including many healthy options from local suppliers. However, this will all have to be unbranded, with only official sponsors allowed to have their names on the food they sell, rather than the brands of the food.
McDonalds is expected to try and demonstrate its “corporate social responsibility” using the Games. It has been involved so far in recruiting 70,000 volunteers and has promised to re-use and recycle the furniture, refrigeration plants, and other equipment in the other restaurants in the UK after the conclusion of the Olympics.