America may have started the fast-food chain restaurant, but France perfected it. McDonald’s has been testing a new kind of restaurant design overseas, and today debuted the first U.S. restaurant based on the concept at 809 Sixth Ave. The French-style McDonald’s has three distinctive features: its architecture, concierges and a standalone McCafe with an expanded pastry collection.
“We really invested here to try to disrupt one of the hardest places to do business and one of the most rewarding,” says PJ Fonseca, the franchisee who owns the new Chelsea restaurant. “We’re changing the culture to make it customer-facing.”