It’s Official… | A Continuous Lean.

It’s Official…

Nov 21st, 2008 | Categories: Food, Japan | by Michael Williams

Everything is better in Japan. McDonalds recently launched two Japanese concept restaurants in Shibuya and Omotesando called Quarter Pounder. As expected, or not expected, the place is totally amazingly on-point. The super simple menu is limted to a Quarter Pounder, Double Quarter Pounder, fries and drinks. That’s it.

Curious why they would open a restaurant that only sells Quarter Pounders? According to Business Week, it all comes down to the grill. “McDonald’s has sold its Quarter Pounder in the U.S. since the early 1970s. But until a few weeks ago there was only one place in Japan where you could get one: in Kumamoto prefecture, on the southern island of Kyushu. Former McDonald’s officials say the fast-food chain’s outlets in Japan lacked the proper grill to churn out the burgers in big quantities.” There you have it.

Dear McDonalds, please open a restaurant in your own country that is cool. Thank you.


Two lines, double or single. Oh Japan, how I love thee…


Check out the packaging.



And the website…


Thanks to Coudal for the tip.

Comments: 30

30 Comments to “It’s Official…”

  1. Joseph
    on Nov 21st, 2008
    @ 1:46 AM

    sometimes it’s embarrassing to be a graphic designer in America. that is sweet.

  2. Natsumi
    on Nov 21st, 2008
    @ 2:54 AM

    That’s pretty funny… So efficient! Love the packaging.

  3. Courtney
    on Nov 21st, 2008
    @ 9:30 AM

    I love this. Who would have thought?!! Go McDonald’s!

  4. Andy
    on Nov 21st, 2008
    @ 10:19 AM

    Check out the pre-packaged ketchup.

  5. wayne pate
    on Nov 21st, 2008
    @ 10:52 AM

    Only in Japan could something like this ever come to fruition. This is what makes Japan so unique and
    way ahead of the curve. The majority of the population in Japan has a acceptance and understanding of forward thinking design which
    is part of there global identity. Unlike the U.S. where
    good design is considered a bad thing in regards to selling to the masses.

  6. kiya
    on Nov 21st, 2008
    @ 11:35 AM

    “proper grill”????
    McDonald’s doesn’t even USE a grill..
    I went to the Omotesando location last weekend, were a bit puzzled at first, but it actually was quite cool… Nobody seems to be mentioning the downstairs lounge that both the locations have that look like some high end night club setting with people shoveling down Quarter Pounders.

  7. jubei
    on Nov 21st, 2008
    @ 11:38 AM

    I feel like they need to be playing either industrial techno or joy division in there.

  8. sloane
    on Nov 21st, 2008
    @ 12:30 PM

    A press release from McDonald’s (at least according to a few other blogs) says that this is just to create buzz marketing for the Quarter Pounder (not yet on menus at McDonald’s in Japan) as it’s introduced.

    Dr. Tantillo’s just published a post on McDonald’s on his marketing blog, in which he praises McDonald’s for being so flexible and adapting to demand but prefaced this with: “The big things about McDonald’s cosmetic image (i.e., colors, designs, clown mascot) have never essentially changed. Neither has the basic serving and restaurant setup.”
    Guess they are even more flexible though… Tantillo’s full post

    Even though this is supposed to just be temporary/buzz marketing, I wonder if cultivating this sort of aesthetic wouldn’t make sense for them–a move to diversify their holdings (they own a significant portion of Chipotle, or did last I knew) and expand/diversify their customer base (Ex. their ‘unsnobby coffee’ campaign. Tantillo did a post on Starbucks/Dunkin’ Donuts mentioning McDonald’s coffee, too.

  9. thorn
    on Nov 21st, 2008
    @ 12:36 PM

    people eat at mcdonalds?

  10. Bob Ferrapuhls
    on Nov 21st, 2008
    @ 12:42 PM

    The Quarter Pounder’s made of people…!

  11. sam
    on Nov 21st, 2008
    @ 12:44 PM

    “people” “eat” “at” “mcdonalds”

    I had a small cheeseburger for the first time in years last night and I can say I did feel like a person, nor did I feel like I was eating nor was I at a Mcdonalds, having ran off into Union Square to avoid the bright lights.

  12. emily
    on Nov 21st, 2008
    @ 2:37 PM

    It’s just the same contrived Mcdonald’s you see here in the states….those french fries may be toxic, but they are without a doubt delicious.

  13. corre!
    on Nov 21st, 2008
    @ 3:22 PM

    Is it only these pictures, or are there really no McDonalds logos in the actual Quarter Pounder venue? (well, apart from the website)

  14. Thom
    on Nov 21st, 2008
    @ 5:30 PM

    North American companies are obsessed with the idea that people want “choice.” Hence the idiotically huge menues in most restaurants.

  15. Michael Williams
    on Nov 21st, 2008
    @ 5:31 PM

    No logos, for real!

  16. Cas Ruffin
    on Nov 21st, 2008
    @ 6:45 PM

    The functionality of the restaurant is mind blowing.

  17. pit
    on Nov 21st, 2008
    @ 10:15 PM

    As Peter Griffin would say, That was freakin awsome!

  18. misterman
    on Nov 22nd, 2008
    @ 10:20 AM

    too bad onward cannot think like this.

  19. wecouldgrowuptogether
    on Nov 22nd, 2008
    @ 9:13 PM

    cant wait to indulge and get fat when i hit shibuya next month!

  20. ChrisFizik
    on Nov 22nd, 2008
    @ 9:24 PM

    brilliant marketing. Whoever over there at the Golden Arches is realizing that they don’t actually need the arches logos and can move forward on product and brandnames deserves a raise (in Yen no doubt!)

  21. Heavy Tweed Jacket
    on Nov 23rd, 2008
    @ 4:01 AM

    I didn’t see this post until this evening…I actually just walked past the Omotesando location this afternoon. Lots of people eating Quarter Pounders out on the curb, squatting on the side of the sidewalk. Not very appetizing. Long, long (orderly) lines to get in. I will say that the buns at Mac-Japan are way better than the US. FRESH.

  22. wow
    on Nov 24th, 2008
    @ 11:10 AM

    while i like the packaging, its the blandest thing i have ever seen. i get no sense of taste from looking at that packaging or branding. looks like your about to eat cardboard. i do love how its not overly branded.

  23. joyciel
    on Nov 25th, 2008
    @ 3:26 AM

    I am baffled, if they live in Japan why will anyone want to eat at McDonalds.

    Well actually this is a universal question really.

    And how monotonous =/.

  24. h
    on Nov 25th, 2008
    @ 8:34 AM

    I walked by it and thought it was a burger king gimmick because I don’t know the menu at McD. I don’t eat fast food but it is a nice mysterious campaign. Also, many Japanese think McD is a Japanese company.

  25. Miks
    on Nov 25th, 2008
    @ 9:39 AM

    I’m sorry… but this is just retarded.

  26. LOGAN
    on Nov 25th, 2008
    @ 4:43 PM

    They Do have something like this in America, its called In and Out. The menu is very sparse. I like the re-interpretation/ modernization of what in essence is a simple meat & potatoes (meat and bun) idea.

  27. Bob
    on Nov 25th, 2008
    @ 7:19 PM

    ‘They lacked the proper grill’? Eh?

  28. Thomas
    on Nov 26th, 2008
    @ 8:47 AM

    If I remember rightly the quarter pounder ‘grill’ was just the same as the regular one but adjusted to leave a bigger space between the plates.
    That wasn’t a completely wasted summer after all…

  29. edemay
    on Nov 26th, 2008
    @ 9:51 AM

    it’s still _mcdonalds_.

  30. generator
    on Jan 7th, 2009
    @ 11:01 PM

    Trust the Japanese! Cool branding! I’m lovin’ it! :)