Interesting news reaches me today, which I think will be very interesting to burger-lovers in Brownhills.
Many of you will be aware that fast food company McDonald’s was recently given planning permission to demolish the former police station in Brownhills and build a new drive-though restaurant on the site. This was a controversial application, particularly for residents living near the proposed outlet who were concerned about noise, odour and anti social behaviour that may result from a new restaurant on their doorsteps.
Well, a few days ago I noticed that planning permission had subsequently been sought to modify the proposal in some minor ways (see the detail here), and for the positioning of advertising. I was intrigued about this change late in the day, which seemed unusual for a company that normally have planning applications very much sorted from the get-go.
It turns out that the proposed McDonald’s in Brownhills is going to be one of the first of the company’s outlets in the UK to be vegetarian and vegan only, ditching the usual tranche of hamburgers, chicken nuggets and the like for purely plant-based protein alternatives.
I emailed the company out of sheer curiosity when I saw the changes to the application, and a marketing manager got back to me very quickly.
McDonald’s has been in the UK since 1974, and from the moment we arrived, we’ve been providing the people of the UK with a wide but familiar range of innovative, occasionally tasty and popular semi-warm food that many of of customers have enjoyed.
We were at the forefront of introducing US culinary specialities to this market, some of which have proven very popular like the Big Mac, and others like root beer, based on dental mouth wash – which were not to everyone’s taste.
Having done lots of market research in the area, we think Brownhills would be precisely the right location to try out our wholly vegetarian offering – whereas our other outlets offer what are frequently meat based burgers, here in Brownhills we will be offering bean Big Macs, spinach McNuggets, quinoa fries and all manner of plant based whole food, including our new range of almond milk shakes, in flavours like celery smash and kale delight.
We really think this innovative menu will be a hit locally, with the addition that it will possibly appeal to a divergent market less inclined to antisocial behaviour than our existing sites.
Internally there will be a new corporate identity, focussed on the brand’s green credentials and environmental ethos – people arriving via environmentally considerate transport will also be prioritised for rapid customer service, to improve their experience and that of people dining in. After all, nobody wants to be exposed to somebody that smug for very long.
We’re hoping the changes to the plan will be progressed through quickly and the new restaurant will be able to open in autumn 2022 – we look forward to helping the people of Brownhills become familiar with salad and vegetables, the latter not being an issue for those with family connections to Pelsall.
Head Of Plant Based Product Marketing
I am quite curious about the choice made here by Macdonald’s. A vegetarian only outlet is very brave, and I can see it not playing well in some quarters, particularly amongst the traditionalist carnivores in town.
I’m also concerned about the emissions that could possibly result – the smell of a fast food restaurant is one thing, but the additional discharges resulting from the product lineup is bound to have a local impact.
What do you think? Please do let me know: Comment here on this post, mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com, or find me on social media.