McDonald's to refit UK restaurants

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The Independent Online

For years the yellow "M" of McDonald's meant just one thing to prospective customers: Big Macs, french fries and a huge fizzy drink.

But the fast food chain yesterday moved a step further in its bid to overhaul its image, revealing plans to "re-image" its 200 UK outlets in the face of competition from the coffee bars that dominate the high street.

In the biggest revamp seen by the company in more than 20 years, 6,300 McDonald's restaurants across mainland Europe have already replaced plastic and metal seating with sofas, armchairs, modern lighting and wireless internet access. While European business has recovered, British restaurants have seen sales fall for five consecutive years, the Financial Times said, following a backlash against rising obesity levels and negative perceptions of the quality of fast food.

In 2003, the chain introduced salads in all its restaurants and providing more nutritional information to an increasingly health conscious public and also signed a lucrative deal with the vegetarian brand Quorn.