Macca's healthy cafe The Corner by McCafeIn a world first, McDonald’s is trialling a new cafe concept in Sydney’s Camperdown, opposite the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. Macca’s healthy cafe, dubbed The Corner by McCafe carries no traditional McDonald’s branding and features grain and legume salads, exotic flavours and even tofu.

 The Corner by McCafe opened in December 2014 and is described by the fast food company as a “learning lab” for trying out a new menu and service style. The outlet was never a full-service McDonalds but had always carried the McCafe branding. Its location opposite one of Sydney’s largest hospitals sits well with the new healthy approach.

Menu options include  soups, salads and rice boxes. A “protein and salad box” contains chipotle bbq pulled pork, slaw, lebanese lentils and brown rice. Other options include Moroccan chicken, Lebanese lentil and chick pea salad, and cous cous with roasted eggplant and capsicum. There are also wraps (we’ve seen that Chicken Caesar wrap before though), fruit salad and tofu.

The vibe is different too. No golden arches, no red aprons. It’s all very toned down, with staff in chambray shirts and lots of timber in the decor.

Business Insider saw the experiment as a response to falling global sales, particularly among young adults. It seems there is growing disenchantment among “millennials” with McDonald’s traditional fare.

The “learning lab” in Sydney is only one of the tactics the fast food giant is adopting. The Wall Street Journal reported that McDonalds in the USA was looking for a new way to engage with this generation by allying itself with a charitable cause. “McDonald’s is trying to tap into the fact that researchers believe that millennials are very interested in philanthropy and are more likely to be drawn to brands that have a history of giving back” the Journal wrote.