McDonald's launches fine dining? Are you convinced?

McDonald’s is set to open a pop up fine dining restaurant in Tokyo: why?

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Fine Dining...at McDonald's?
Japan McDonalds
McDonald's in Tokyo is launching a fine dining restaurant - complete with crockery, cutlery and tablecloths. For one night only, the pop-up restaurant 'Restaurant M', will offer people unusual twists on traditional fast food in somewhat different surroundings.

The food will include plated burgers, along with a french fry 'vichyssoise', a worrying-sounding vegetable gelee, iced tea served in wine glasses and a fresh blueberry McFlurry.

It's asking people to book tables of ten at this high-end burger bar for a night. There will be 20 tables up for grabs - so even when McDonald's goes upmarket, it still expects to churn through its customers.

Why?

It's an inventive way to get people talking about a brand that has suffered in Japan recently - and lost $57 million in the territory in 2014. It was the first year that McDonald's had faced a loss in Japan since it opened its first outlet there in 2001, and has prompted branch closures and more radical ideas from the management team - including this pop-up.

It's not the first time the brand has attempted to elevate its food to fine dining in an effort to draw attention to the quality of its ingredients. At the end of 2013, it held a challenge in a fancy restaurant in Tribeca, New York, where famous chefs attempted to create gourmet meals from McDonald's ingredients. Unusual concoctions included beef topped with blueberry pomegranate sauce, gnocchi made from french fries, a sweet and sour chicken nugget dish and several barbecue chicken dishes.

The owners of one Sydney branch even gave cutlery and crockery a trial run in 2013, although after five weeks of washing plates and serving tables, the idea of fast food service must have started to appeal to them again.

The good news for the brand is that some people are such fans that they don't need china and cutlery to visit McDonald's for a special occasion. Take Steven Asher and Emily Marshall from Bristol. When they were trying to come up with somewhere to hold their wedding reception, they couldn't think of anything better than their favourite restaurant - McDonald's. They managed to feed all 33 of their guests for just £150. The happy couple even posed for a photograph feeding each other french fries.

But what do you think? Would you visit a high-end McDonald's restaurant? Let us know in the comments.

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