McDonald’s to introduce draft beer in a South Korean outlet

By Staff Writer

Feb 17, 2016 07:34 AM EST

McDonald's plans to up their game and introduce the concept of beer with hamburgers. The fast-food giant has picked South Korea as its first Asian location to open the beer outlet this month, the company announced on Monday.  

The new outlet is scheduled to open in the satellite city of Seoul, located in Seongnam, as mentioned by Quartz. The initial seating capacity would be for 90, but if the concept goes down well with people, McDonald's is ready to set up two more similar premium stores in the adjoining areas of Gangnam and Sinchon. Both the places are quite popular with the young crowd, which is precisely the target group the company wants to draw.

According to Mashable, South Korea is a good choice for opening up a hamburger-and-beer outlet as their people drink twice as much liquor per capita than any other country. With a legal drinking age of 19, the South Koreans are known to drink 13.7 shots of liquor per week on an average. Russia is a close second with 6.3 shots a week.

While this is a new move by the hamburger joint in Asia, it is not exactly a novel concept altogether. The company has already been serving beer in Germany since 1971 and has alcohol in its French and Spanish outlets as well. However, with Seoul in the picture now, only the US and the UK are the two nations where McDonald's hasn't added this particular beverage to their fountain.

Its competition, Burger King, had tried something similar in 2009 when it opened an upscale fast-food outlet with alcohol in Singapore and called it the Whopping Bar. The burger giant had intended to introduce this bar to the other Asian countries provided the Singapore concept worked well. However, it shut the outlet within a year without any explanations and stuck to their original format from thereon.

McDonald's, it seems, has an undisclosed location in Sydney, Australia, where this popular brand tests new items and concepts, as per Fortune. This testing lab of sorts goes by the name of "The Corner" which does not give away any fact that can link this outlet with the burger brand. The menu includes healthier options as well, like quinoa, to find out how often people would opt for the healthy snack instead of the "fast-food" items that are often synonymous with the term "junk food".

The company has been experimenting with its structure and format lately. After poor revenue generation for years, the fast-food chain came up with "All-Day Breakfast" in the US, which led to a 5.7% increase in same-store sales in the last quarter. It has also announced transitioning to cage-free eggs in Canada and America over the next ten years. This year the company is all set to make a radical change to its branding and packaging. 

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