McDonald's, the worldwide hamburger giant, is understood to be trialing five new-look restaurants in the UK to improve its high-street image.
The garish red-and-yellow colour schemes of the traditional restaurants have been replaced by more subdued hues including khaki, lime, orange and russet. The new restaurants will also feature low-level lighting and stools and easy chairs.
The move is the first big marker put down by new UK chief executive, Steve Easterbrook, who was promoted to his new post this April. The changes fall within McDonald's strategy of reinventing itself under a programme it has dubbed "Plan to Win".
On a global scale, McDonald's is already seeing results. Earlier this month it said that sales at restaurants open at least 13 months were up 3.8% in July. Europe was a key part of this growth with same-store sales on the continent rising 5.3%.
In the USA, McDonald's has boosted takings by introducing premium coffee and new menu items including an Asian chicken salad and chicken wraps.
By Andrew Sangster