No, the company isn't hiring a celebrity chef; the Times sent one to review the food:
Mr. Zakarian took one bite of his wrap and then looked inside. It seemed mostly tortilla, with some wan strips of chicken and shreds of iceberg lettuce. It was, in a word, tasteless. “Why would anyone come here for this?” he asked. “You can get a much better wrap at Chipotle. McDonald’s should stick to what it does well.”
“Of course, the food could be better,” he said. “All fast food could be better. McDonald’s has been incredibly successful, and you have to respect that. It only has to be incrementally better.” Some easy options might be leaner beef and a better bun, and maybe a higher-priced option “since all these things come at a cost,” he said.
When I shared these thoughts with McDonald’s, it turned out the company has had some of the same ideas. A McDonald’s spokeswoman, Heidi Barker, said that McDonald’s was renovating several hundred outlets a year to focus on better lighting, design and materials. I checked out two of the new prototypes in Manhattan this week, and they are vast improvements over the Third Avenue branch. There are natural wood slats, softer lighting, better acoustics and a soft neutral color scheme (though there are still touches of bright red and yellow).
Even bolder, McDonald’s is testing what it calls “create your taste” programs in a few locations, and hopes to introduce the concept in 2,000 locations by the end of the year. Customers order from flat-screen computers and can choose a toasted bun or roll, three types of cheeses, various sauces and toppings. Then, they take a number and pick a seat. The order is delivered to their table.
In unrelated news, McDonald's same-store sales have dropped precipitously, which led to the company recently sacking its CEO.