McDonald's just opened a new restaurant that looks like an Apple Store — and it reveals a blueprint for the future of the fast-food giant

  • McDonald's opened a new flagship store in Chicago that looks more like an Apple Store than a fast-food restaurant. 
  • The restaurant features table service, ordering kiosks, and more than 70 trees inside the building. 
  • While not every McDonald's will look like the Chicago mega-store, the flagship restaurant reveals some major clues about the future of the fast-food chain. 

McDonald's newest restaurant is making a bold statement about the future of the chain. 

On Thursday, McDonald's is opening a new flagship restaurant in Chicago. It's a glassy 19,000-square-foot building that looks more like an Apple store than a fast-food restaurant — and that's exactly what the company intended. 

"We are proud to open the doors to this flagship restaurant which symbolizes how we are building a better McDonald’s for our customers and the communities where they live," McDonald’s President and CEO Steve Easterbrook said in a statement. 

Here's what it looks like to take a glimpse inside:

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McDonald's new Chicago flagship
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McDonald's new Chicago flagship

While the structure may be different, the Golden Arches are still present at the restaurant, which will be open seven days a week and 24 hours a day.

Credit: McDonald's

The restaurant features self-order kiosks, table service, mobile order and pay, and delivery — services that are becoming increasingly mainstream at McDonald's across the US.

Credit: McDonald's

Table service and increased digital ordering options are part of McDonald's "Experience of the Future" revamp. Currently roughly 5,000 restaurants fit the qualifications, with plans to transform almost all restaurants by 2020.

Credit: McDonald's

The restaurant is also designed to highlight something else McDonald's is pushing in an effort to remake its image: sustainability. The location has more than 70 trees and on-site solar panels.

Credit: McDonald's

The restaurant was designed by Chicago-based Ross Barney Architects. While not every McDonald's is going to look quite so classy and glassy, the base of more tech, table service, and an emphasis on sustainability provide a blueprint of what the fast-food giant wants to roll out across America.

Credit: McDonald's

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