It’s Official…

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 on “It’s Official…

    Joseph on November 21, 2008 1:46 AM:

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

    Natsumi on November 21, 2008 2:54 AM:

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

    Courtney on November 21, 2008 9:30 AM:

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

    Andy on November 21, 2008 10:19 AM:

    Check out the pre-packaged ketchup.

    wayne pate on November 21, 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.

    kiya on November 21, 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.

    jubei on November 21, 2008 11:38 AM:

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

    sloane on November 21, 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.

    thorn on November 21, 2008 12:36 PM:

    people eat at mcdonalds?

    Bob Ferrapuhls on November 21, 2008 12:42 PM:

    The Quarter Pounder’s made of people…!

    sam on November 21, 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.

    emily on November 21, 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.

    corre! on November 21, 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)

    Thom on November 21, 2008 5:30 PM:

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

    Michael Williams on November 21, 2008 5:31 PM:

    No logos, for real!

    Cas Ruffin on November 21, 2008 6:45 PM:

    The functionality of the restaurant is mind blowing.

    pit on November 21, 2008 10:15 PM:

    As Peter Griffin would say, That was freakin awsome!

    misterman on November 22, 2008 10:20 AM:

    too bad onward cannot think like this.

    wecouldgrowuptogether on November 22, 2008 9:13 PM:

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

    ChrisFizik on November 22, 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!)

    Heavy Tweed Jacket on November 23, 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.

    wow on November 24, 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.

    joyciel on November 25, 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 =/.

    h on November 25, 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.

    Miks on November 25, 2008 9:39 AM:

    I’m sorry… but this is just retarded.

    LOGAN on November 25, 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.

    Bob on November 25, 2008 7:19 PM:

    ‘They lacked the proper grill’? Eh?

    Thomas on November 26, 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…

    edemay on November 26, 2008 9:51 AM:

    it’s still _mcdonalds_.

    generator on January 7, 2009 11:01 PM:

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

Comments are closed.