World's biggest McDonald's coming to London's Olympic Park
In many ways, the world’s largest McDonald’s, set to open later this year, is a bit of a marvel.
It will span two stories, reportedly sit 1,500 customers at a time, and will occupy some of the most coveted retail space in the world.
Though that very same McDonald’s, which will also have exclusive rights to sell name-brand foods within its immediate area, is drawing a big stink, despite the runaway success it’s designed to be.
Why? ‘Cause the franchise’s biggest location to-be will also sit right smack in the middle of London’s Olympic Park.
Yes, McDonald’s is once again the exclusive food name of the Olympics this summer, and for its pact the fast food chain gets to be the only restauranteur to sell brand-name food at the games.
But part of this agreement is striking detractors as a big, gleaming irony, in that the world’s largest McDonald’s will be built at a place designed to promote health, fitness and the very best sportsmen and women on earth.
“It’s very sad that an event that celebrates the very best of athletic achievements should be sponsored by companies contributing to the obesity problem and unhealthy habits,” a spokesman for the Academy of Royal Medical Colleges said.
To clarify, the “companies” the spokesman mentions above also include Coke and Heineken, two other key Olympic sponsors, but it’s clear who’s really getting the scorn here.
McDonald’s, as does Walmart, gets as rough a deal as any leader in its sector does across the world. It provides the same service as thousands of other Burger Kings and Taco Bells, though because it’s the big guy atop the totem pole, it takes all the criticism that should be spread around evenly to its competitors.
In any case, fair or not, McDonald’s will be the name that gets the heat for its relationship with the Olympics. In the U.K., where obesity-related health ailments cost the national health care system an estimated $6.5 billion each year, it’s a PR nightmare.
But at the risk of defending a corporate multinational too much, the reality of an event as big as the Olympics is that without cash from McDonald’s, we’re living in a different world.
“Sponsors provide a huge amount of the funding required to stage the games,” an Olympic official said recently in a statement. “Without our partners such as McDonald’s, the games simply wouldn’t happen.”
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money