McDonald’s has called a Chicago suburb home for 40 years. No more: The company recently moved its HQ into the city – in The West Loop location once home to Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Studios. CNBC said the area is “an up-and-coming neighborhood known for its trendy restaurants. It is here that Easterbrook foresees the company cultivating top talent and tapping into emerging food crazes.”
Craig’s Chicago Business reported that the company is leasing about 80% of the 600,000 sq ft (27,871 sq m) available in the newly-built, block-square building in what’s called the Fulton Market area of the city center. The $250 million (£187m) headquarters was officially opened on June 4.
In addition to office space, the facility also includes a floor dedicated to the company’s Hamburger University, a training ground for mid-managers, higher-ups and franchise owners in the company. More than 80,000 of them have graduated from HU, as the ‘campus’ is called. (In Oakbrook, IL, the company’s former headquarters, HU occupied 130,000 sq ft (12,077 sq m). It occupies the entire 2nd floor in the new nine-story HQ building, which stands some 125 ft (38m) at its highest point.)
Steve Easterbrook, CEO of McDonald’s, told CNBC that while the old HQ had “been a wonderful facility for us, it was a little detached from everyday life.” The new HQ definitely isn’t.
Its ground floor includes a restaurant open to the public. It shows off all the latest innovations in McDonald’s around the world, including menu selections (which often differ significantly in other countries from US offerings).
Truly, this is a photo story, so here are a few more from McDonald’s of their new HQ.
The employee cafeteria, with stadium seating.