Jun 27, 2012Print This Post
UPDATE: McDonald’s UK released the following statement late Wednesday:
“Wayne Hemingway has made it clear to us that the Yahoo! Article published yesterday was misleading and his comments were taken out of context. As he has said, a number of different things have influenced these designs from McDonald’s iconic food and new UK restaurant designs to the US TV series Mad Men. McDonald’s UK is proud of its American roots and heritage and its new uniforms.”
The fashion designer selected to create new uniforms for McDonalds staffers working in London’s Olympic park said he had to de-Americanize the outfits.
“We’ve taken some of the Americanism out of the uniforms,” British-born fashion designer Wayne Hemingway told Yahoo! Shine.
Hemingway was selected 18 months ago to design uniforms for the 2,000 McDonalds employees who will be working at four outlets at the London Olympics.
The new look features mustard-colored skinny ties and belts for managers and lettuce-green pants for customer service assistants, Yahoo! Shine reported. Staff members will out-fitted in mustard yellow polo shirts and pickle green shirts.
Think Mad Men meets Big Mac.
The popular McDonalds baseball caps will no longer be featured in the ensemble. The designer said the caps are not appropriate for “proper restaurants.”
“We took inspiration from the new McDonalds restaurants that are more like serious eating establishments,” Hemingway told TODAY.com. “It’s why we got rid of the baseball caps — which reminded us of petrol pump (gas station) attendants — and are not something you see in a proper restaurant.”
Instead, McDonalds workers will be wearing “pageboy hats” reminiscent of those worn by singer Chris Martin, Yahoo! Shine reported.
Hemingway said the new look will not only help employee morale, but it will also make the food taste better.
“Humans don’t operate on just one plain when they eat,” he said. “What people look at in a restaurant plays a role in how something tastes.”
However, many Americans are not so sure about the change.
“What is wrong with looking American?” asked Penny Macaw. “I am tired of people wanting to look global. We are American and should be proud of it.”
“I think they are pandering to the political pressure and it is absurd,” a Facebook reader said. “Dress them in red, white and blue and keep the ball cap. It’s the most American piece of clothing out there.”
But others said McDonalds has a right to dress its employees any way they choose.
“I don’t really have a problem with them changing the uniform to firm the country or culture,” one reader said. “But why the phrase ‘de-Americanize’? Is McDonalds ashamed of America?”
McDonalds defended the new uniforms in an email statement to Fox News Radio.
“Wayne and his design team have done a great job of creating striking new designs that bind sustainability into the new UK uniforms,” the statement read. “The new uniform complements the colors of our redesigned restaurants.”
But what about the comment about making the Olympic uniforms less American?
McDonalds did not respond to that question.
The said 300 people were involved in the design process – and said the new look could be implemented in McDonalds restaurants across the UK.
The new uniforms will not be used in American restaurants, Yahoo! Shine reported.
That’s good news for some American diners.
“I think that it’s appropriate for a company to uniform their people to best appeal to the market they are operating in,” reader Mike Sullivan said. “What would offend me is if they force that new uniform on the US restaurants.”
American culture aside, some readers still have issues with McDonalds’ new colors.
“No one looks good in mustard yellow,” one reader noted.