McDonald’s Tries Feng Shui Makeover

26 02 2008

Feng Shui got mentioned in the press again. This time it’s McDonald’s, world’s largest hamburger chain. I thought I share with you the article published by AP in Hacienda Heights, California:

The only familiar signs at the McDonald’s in this large Asian community are the golden arches, the drive-through and the menu.

Gone are the plastic furniture, Ronald McDonald and the red and yellow palette that has defined the world’s largest hamburger chain. Leather seats, earth tones, bamboo plants and water trickling down glass panels have taken their place.

The makeover elements are meant to help diners achieve happiness and fortune — whether they realize it or not.

That’s because the restaurant was redesigned using the principles of feng shui, the ancient Chinese practice of arranging objects and numbers to promote health, harmony and prosperity.

The concept is an unlikely fit with fast food. But the restaurant’s owners say the designs are aimed at creating a soothing setting that will encourage diners to linger over their burgers and fries, and come back again.

The makeover is part of the attempt by McDonald’s Corp. in recent years to remodel hundreds of its restaurants to attract more patrons with unique decor and amenities that might entice them stay awhile.

It also fits into McDonald’s larger corporate practice of catering to local tastes, such as a fondue-style burger in France or a pita-wrapped “McArabia” sandwich in the Middle East.

“We can’t look too cookie cutter,” Mark Brownstein, one of three owners of the restaurant, said about the new decor.

The basic principles of feng shui include placing strategic representations of five natural elements — earth, water, fire, metal and wood — around the room to increase the flow of chi, or energy.

Feng shui (fung shway) has been employed in the designs of high-rises, banks, even zoo exhibits, and has been popularized by countless coffee table books and TV shows such as HGTV’s “Fun Shui.” It’s also used in the designs of the Panda Express Chinese food chain.

The McDonald’s in this Los Angeles suburb boasts wood ceiling, silver-coated chairs, plus red accents throughout the dining area to symbolize fire and “good luck, laughter and prosperity,” said Brenda Clifford, who designed the dining area.

The textured walls patterned after ocean waves symbolize “life and relaxation — the balanced things that you want in your life,” she said.

Customers are responding positively, whether or not they recognize the feng shui elements.

“When we first walked in we were amazed, we were happy we skipped the drive-through and went inside,” Andrew Chen said while lounging in a white leather booth with a friend.

Chen, 20, said he didn’t notice the feng shui elements. He just thought it was a modern interior.

Two workers at the nearby post office said they’ve been taking more lunch breaks at the remodeled McDonald’s, which opened in late December.

“We’re here two, three times a week,” Waldo Alfaro said as he munched on a Filet-O-Fish and a salad. “It’s relaxing, you don’t feel any pressure here.”

Nevermind that this is the same McDonald’s that’s been vilified by critics over its artery-clogging Big Macs and fries.

The buzz about the feng shui McDonald’s is starting to attract curious onlookers.

“It’s successful as a design. It’s got a very clean, open, airy appearance,” said Elaine Bjorklund, a professor emerita of cultural geography at the University of Western Ontario in Canada, who was in town visiting a friend.

“I’m not a McDonald’s habituee,” she added as she snapped pictures of the dining area. “It would be interesting to see if this trend will spread.”

Brownstein said he and his partners chose the feng shui makeover because the restaurant is located near a renowned Buddhist temple, which is considered good luck. The designs were meant to appeal to the area’s growing Asian population, but were also done in a way that would help all customers tap their inner Zen.

With the help of a feng shui master, the designers added details that only feng shui practitioners could appreciate. They include positioning the doors in a way that would block out bad spirits while keeping good ones inside, Clifford said.

The eight rows of red tiles near the food counter are another symbol of fortune, because the number eight is considered auspicious, she said. Meanwhile, the metal sculptures of a crane and Koi fish adorning one wall represent fertility and prosperity, she said.

Clifford said she made the nearly fatal mistake of putting 44 seats in the dining area, until she learned that feng shui followers consider the number four a symbol of bad luck. So she added an extra seat to make it 45.

“Few people would notice it, but if you’re in the know, you’ll say ‘Oh my God, that’s terrible,'” she said.

She went as far as staggering the grout lines in the tiles rather than keeping them straight.

“You want to have obstacles in life, it makes you grow,” she explained.

While the menu remains the same, there is a McCafe offering lattes and gourmet coffee drinks.

When McDonald’s restaurants in Europe upgraded their decor several years ago by adding hardwood floors, armchairs, TVs and other enhancements, sales went up, Brownstein said.

He said business has picked up at his restaurant too.

Other franchise owners are taking notice. Clifford said her company has been hired to feng shui two more McDonald’s in Southern California.

Source: Associated Press

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McDonald’s Tries Feng Shui Makeover

25 02 2008

Feng Shui got mentioned in the press again. This time it’s McDonald’s, world’s largest hamburger chain. I thought I share with you the article published by AP in Hacienda Heights, California:

The only familiar signs at the McDonald’s in this large Asian community are the golden arches, the drive-through and the menu.

Gone are the plastic furniture, Ronald McDonald and the red and yellow palette that has defined the world’s largest hamburger chain. Leather seats, earth tones, bamboo plants and water trickling down glass panels have taken their place.

The makeover elements are meant to help diners achieve happiness and fortune — whether they realize it or not.

That’s because the restaurant was redesigned using the principles of feng shui, the ancient Chinese practice of arranging objects and numbers to promote health, harmony and prosperity.

The concept is an unlikely fit with fast food. But the restaurant’s owners say the designs are aimed at creating a soothing setting that will encourage diners to linger over their burgers and fries, and come back again.

The makeover is part of the attempt by McDonald’s Corp. in recent years to remodel hundreds of its restaurants to attract more patrons with unique decor and amenities that might entice them stay awhile.

It also fits into McDonald’s larger corporate practice of catering to local tastes, such as a fondue-style burger in France or a pita-wrapped “McArabia” sandwich in the Middle East.

“We can’t look too cookie cutter,” Mark Brownstein, one of three owners of the restaurant, said about the new decor.

The basic principles of feng shui include placing strategic representations of five natural elements — earth, water, fire, metal and wood — around the room to increase the flow of chi, or energy.

Feng shui (fung shway) has been employed in the designs of high-rises, banks, even zoo exhibits, and has been popularized by countless coffee table books and TV shows such as HGTV’s “Fun Shui.” It’s also used in the designs of the Panda Express Chinese food chain.

The McDonald’s in this Los Angeles suburb boasts wood ceiling, silver-coated chairs, plus red accents throughout the dining area to symbolize fire and “good luck, laughter and prosperity,” said Brenda Clifford, who designed the dining area.

The textured walls patterned after ocean waves symbolize “life and relaxation — the balanced things that you want in your life,” she said.

Customers are responding positively, whether or not they recognize the feng shui elements.

“When we first walked in we were amazed, we were happy we skipped the drive-through and went inside,” Andrew Chen said while lounging in a white leather booth with a friend.

Chen, 20, said he didn’t notice the feng shui elements. He just thought it was a modern interior.

Two workers at the nearby post office said they’ve been taking more lunch breaks at the remodeled McDonald’s, which opened in late December.

“We’re here two, three times a week,” Waldo Alfaro said as he munched on a Filet-O-Fish and a salad. “It’s relaxing, you don’t feel any pressure here.”

Nevermind that this is the same McDonald’s that’s been vilified by critics over its artery-clogging Big Macs and fries.

The buzz about the feng shui McDonald’s is starting to attract curious onlookers.

“It’s successful as a design. It’s got a very clean, open, airy appearance,” said Elaine Bjorklund, a professor emerita of cultural geography at the University of Western Ontario in Canada, who was in town visiting a friend.

“I’m not a McDonald’s habituee,” she added as she snapped pictures of the dining area. “It would be interesting to see if this trend will spread.”

Brownstein said he and his partners chose the feng shui makeover because the restaurant is located near a renowned Buddhist temple, which is considered good luck. The designs were meant to appeal to the area’s growing Asian population, but were also done in a way that would help all customers tap their inner Zen.

With the help of a feng shui master, the designers added details that only feng shui practitioners could appreciate. They include positioning the doors in a way that would block out bad spirits while keeping good ones inside, Clifford said.

The eight rows of red tiles near the food counter are another symbol of fortune, because the number eight is considered auspicious, she said. Meanwhile, the metal sculptures of a crane and Koi fish adorning one wall represent fertility and prosperity, she said.

Clifford said she made the nearly fatal mistake of putting 44 seats in the dining area, until she learned that feng shui followers consider the number four a symbol of bad luck. So she added an extra seat to make it 45.

“Few people would notice it, but if you’re in the know, you’ll say ‘Oh my God, that’s terrible,'” she said.

She went as far as staggering the grout lines in the tiles rather than keeping them straight.

“You want to have obstacles in life, it makes you grow,” she explained.

While the menu remains the same, there is a McCafe offering lattes and gourmet coffee drinks.

When McDonald’s restaurants in Europe upgraded their decor several years ago by adding hardwood floors, armchairs, TVs and other enhancements, sales went up, Brownstein said.

He said business has picked up at his restaurant too.

Other franchise owners are taking notice. Clifford said her company has been hired to feng shui two more McDonald’s in Southern California.

Source: Associated Press





Will Vasana Recognized for Internet Marketing Excellence

6 02 2008

Jacksonville, FL – Nationally renowned real estate marketing and technology speaker and REALTOR.com® Vice President, Max Pigman, has presented to Will Vasana of Watson Realty Corp. the “2008 Real Estate Online Marketing Award of Excellence”. The Award of Excellence recognizes top producers who consistently provide great marketing services on behalf of their buyers and sellers.

“There are but a select number of real estate professionals who distinguish themselves from other agents by doing a little more for their sellers—and Will Vasana of Watson Realty is one of them. In particular; when the home they are selling is placed on a well trafficked site such as the 1st ranked REALTOR.com®, even simple efforts like having more photos displayed, crafting better descriptions or adding a full motion video, can make a home stand out from competing properties,” says Max Pigman, Vice President of REALTOR.com®.

The excellence award was presented to Will Vasana at a recent real estate marketing and technology seminar on February 5, 2008 at The Jacksonville Marriott Hotel. The seminar demonstrated cutting edge techniques for leveraging the Internet and technology in real estate marketing.

Vasana says, “My customers appreciate how I can help bring more attention to the unique selling attributes of their home and ultimately help attract more qualified buyers. Buyers are also appreciative of a well presented home that has a better description and more ways to learn about the property before arranging an appointment. While it’s certainly an honor to receive this award, I think ultimately it would be a disservice not to make Internet marketing part of your standard home marketing plan. Some day soon most agents will see it as a must have requirement instead of something special. We’re already seeing that change”

“The extra steps agents like Will Vasana are taking on behalf of their clients is the reason we thought it worthwhile to call out the effort we have seen these agents make online and to recognize them for providing these added value services,” says Mr. Pigman.

Maximizing marketing exposure for a seller is critical in today’s market. The combination of turn-key marketing system and REALTOR.com® are just one of the many ways Will Vasana is leveraging recent trends in home buyer online behavior to his clients’ benefits.

To find out more about Will Vasana’s award-winning marketing system, call him at (904) 307-8998.





Will Vasana Recognized for Internet Marketing Excellence

5 02 2008

Jacksonville, FL – Nationally renowned real estate marketing and technology speaker and REALTOR.com® Vice President, Max Pigman, has presented to Will Vasana of Watson Realty Corp. the “2008 Real Estate Online Marketing Award of Excellence”. The Award of Excellence recognizes top producers who consistently provide great marketing services on behalf of their buyers and sellers.

“There are but a select number of real estate professionals who distinguish themselves from other agents by doing a little more for their sellers—and Will Vasana of Watson Realty is one of them. In particular; when the home they are selling is placed on a well trafficked site such as the 1st ranked REALTOR.com®, even simple efforts like having more photos displayed, crafting better descriptions or adding a full motion video, can make a home stand out from competing properties,” says Max Pigman, Vice President of REALTOR.com®.

The excellence award was presented to Will Vasana at a recent real estate marketing and technology seminar on February 5, 2008 at The Jacksonville Marriott Hotel. The seminar demonstrated cutting edge techniques for leveraging the Internet and technology in real estate marketing.

Vasana says, “My customers appreciate how I can help bring more attention to the unique selling attributes of their home and ultimately help attract more qualified buyers. Buyers are also appreciative of a well presented home that has a better description and more ways to learn about the property before arranging an appointment. While it’s certainly an honor to receive this award, I think ultimately it would be a disservice not to make Internet marketing part of your standard home marketing plan. Some day soon most agents will see it as a must have requirement instead of something special. We’re already seeing that change”

“The extra steps agents like Will Vasana are taking on behalf of their clients is the reason we thought it worthwhile to call out the effort we have seen these agents make online and to recognize them for providing these added value services,” says Mr. Pigman.

Maximizing marketing exposure for a seller is critical in today’s market. The combination of turn-key marketing system and REALTOR.com® are just one of the many ways Will Vasana is leveraging recent trends in home buyer online behavior to his clients’ benefits.

To find out more about Will Vasana’s award-winning marketing system, call him at (904) 307-8998.








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