It’s pretty awesome to see a fast-food restaurant become a community center like this one in the St. John’s area of Canada. This particular McDonald’s hosts family fun nights; chess is the game every Thursday. The idea of a family fun night is consistent throughout many locations across Canada. If that’s the case, I’m not sure why we don’t have that here in the States. Okay, maybe I’m not too surprised.
Mcdonald’s manager Melissa Hayes says her location was the first to introduce chess as a family fun night option. It is quite interesting because McDonald’s (and fast-food restaurants generally) don’t want you to stay inside the restaurant. It’s why some have obnoxiously bright colors and very hard, uncomfortable plastic seats. Yet, Hayes sees chess as a wonderful way to bring families together.
“We have students that come in, we have elderly adults, young people. They come in just to enjoy a game and have some quality time with their community members,” said Melissa Hayes.
I love this idea because it brings relationship-building to the forefront. Yes, you still have the opportunity to buy your french fries, but playing games with the others gives a frequently trafficked location a place to build community. Something that we are sorely missing, in my opinion. People come into this McDonalds every Thursday for the opportunity to play chess.
Hopefully, the idea is to take something associated with being unhealthy and make it a place to build healthy relationships. I really like what Canada is doing with its McDonald’s.