The first difference I notice on the Belgian McDonalds website (http://www.mcdonalds.be/fr/index_FR.php) is that it is all in French! Yes of course I know that is to be expected, but with my lack of French language skills, it can be difficult to read. The tabs at the top to click on include 'a la carte', 'enfants', 'qualite', 'restaurants', 'emploi', and 'entreprise'. A few different tabs the distinguish the USA McDonalds site from the Belgian site are 'Health and Nutrition', 'Havin' fun', 'Get shoppin', and 'good works'. The USA McDonalds is also offering free wi-fi everywhere beginning January 15th, 2010. I feel that is a great marketing technique they're using; free wifi in the USA McDonalds could only mean more customers and more profits. If only they did that in Belgium, I would be there more often! Also, we all know how big Facebook is these days. I can't believe on the USA website they actually have a Facebook link saying 'become a fan'! Well actually, I can believe that. Facebook is a way to reach a mass amount of people, so why wouldn't McDonalds have a fan page? I also feel that the USA McDonalds website is more aesthetically pleasing.
I've had the chance to visit several McDonalds locations in Belgium ALREADY since being here :) Who can resist a little taste of home when you pass it on the street? I've already been to McDonalds in Belgium, London, and Germany.
I was in Europe two years ago, and I remember taking this picture in the train station of Berlin, Germany. It was before the USA McDonalds had adopted the new 'McCafe'. They started 'McCafe's' over in Europe to test the market here first, I suppose. I remember literally being in awe that a McDonalds had a cafe attached to it, which is absolutely my dream. And just seeing how modern the McDonalds are over here, just look at the tables! Seeing this was absolutely huge for me 2 years ago, but I am very excited that they are starting to adopt this new modern, cafe theme in the USA as well.
This McDonalds in Brussels is so cool, because the outside architecture is of course old European architecture, but the inside is McDonalds! :)
Look how advanced and nice the inside of McDonalds is here! I love how they have all of the world clocks, so you can see what time it is in different large cities around the globe. Although the insides of the McDonalds here are way cooler than they are at home (everytime I pass a McD's here, I get so excited in front of everyone and HAVE to go inside to see it...), I do have many problems with the McDonalds here. For example : PRICE! Everything at McDonalds here is crazy expensive. The euro already is terrible for us compared to the US dollar, so even the small 'Euro menu' that they have here doesn't help. Also, the Euro menu here only has a hamburger and fries on it. I ate at McDonalds one night this week, and got a small fri, medium drink, and little chicken wrap (that they have on the dollar menu at home). My whole meal cost 5.80 euro, which is equivalent to about 8 or 9 USD! AH! Also, I saw that there was no ketchup, so I asked for some ketchup. Of course at home they hand you as many packets as you need, but here, for ONE packet, I was charged 60 euro cents! Not kidding! I had to have my ketchup so I HAD to buy it, but that is absolutely ridiculous. All in all, going to McDonalds in Europe is considered a 'treat' for me, versus going to McD's in the US when I have no other options and it is the last choice. Never would have thought that McDonalds would be a luxury, but for the remainder of my stay, it will be. At least I find every McD's here very interesting with the way it is decorated. Maybe I'll run into some McDonalds while I'm traveling Spain this weekend!!