Flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi access, traffic-concealing landscaping and plush interiors are among the flotilla of changes that McDonald’s locations are instituting in order to boost profits. According to the a story “Sales sizzle at remodeled McDonald’s stores” in the Orlando Sentinel, the makeover is working. A local franchise it investigated saw a sales boost of 20 to 30 percent, and customers lingering to enjoy the new comfortable decor. And the chain as a whole is posting month after consecutive month of sales growth, and considering other upscale shifts (such as selling lattes and smoothies) while raking in the ducats.

Has the whole world just gone nuts? Quite possibly, but there is a strange sort of crazy-like-a-fox thing going on with the McDonald’s shift toward fine dining. Having mastered the art of churning out cheap and consistent food from Tokyo to Toledo, McD’s is just tweaking the knob a bit higher every year, seeing how much more class and sizzle it can add without upsetting the cost/benefit applecart.

And lest we foodies forget, if you’re going to eat a breakfast sandwich at a massive chain restaurant, McDonald’s remains the Rolls Royce of the bunch. That may be a qualified relative comparison, but what responsible comparison, after all, isn’t?

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