McDonald's Unveils New River North Digital Office

Oak Brook-based burger chain hopes to be "front and center" of consumers' digital convenience

McDonald’s is cooking up more than just burgers.

The Oak Brook-based burger chain unveiled its new River North digital office Friday amid lagging sales with the hopes of attracting "talented individuals to support our business,” according to a company spokesperson.

“We know that digital is changing how consumers define convenience – and we want to be front and center in meeting these new expectations,” Becca Hary, director of global media relations at McDonald’s Corporation, said in a statement. “Our customers are also relying on technology for everyday life, so digital is opening up all kinds of doors for McDonald’s.

The downtown digital hub in Chicago is McDonald’s second, alongside the first location that opened in San Francisco. Crain’s Chicago Business reports that the 40 or so tech veterans recruited for the digital office come from companies such as, Facebook, PayPal,, Ticketmaster and Groupon.

McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook told Crain’s that the launch of the digital hub is a “critical part of his turnaround plan for the burger chain, which has suffered more than two years of sales declines.”

During 2014’s third quarter, the company said sales fell 3.3 percent globally and in the U.S.

Crain’s also reports that McDonald’s has recruited dozens of new employees focused on digital efforts since the late 2013 hire of digital chief Atif Rafiq, previously the general manager of Kindle Direct Publishing at Amazon.

The digital efforts include mobile apps, digital marketing and social media. The chain reportedly plans to employ about 250 more staffers in the division by the end of the year.

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