Before we had kids, my wife and I listed as one of our goals that we would not take our kids to fast food restaurants such as McDonald’s. Note that I said goals; it’s a laudable goal, I think, but not very realistic in the real world. There have been times when we’ve found ourselves in the situation of needing something right away that the kids would eat and in those times, chicken nuggets and, yes, a toy gets the job done.
Consider, if you will, the plight of a friend of mine who just happens to be in Paris. “Five and a half hours in the Louvre yesterday,” he wrote on his facebook page. “I would have stayed longer – really – but my feet were killing me, and in my museum intoxication I’d forgotten to eat breakfast or lunch, and didn’t have any money with me – it was free Louvre …day.” Now, while there are a number of restaurants and cafes in and around the Louvre, they may not be much help when you’ve got a hungry toddler on your hands who just wants something familiar to eat.
Enter McDonald’s. Literally. The chain is set to open a restaurant and a “McCafe” next month in the underground approach to the museum called the Carrousel du Louvre. As you might imagine, art lovers and foodies alike are horrified at the thought of McNuggets by the Mona Lisa, value meals consumed before the Venus de Milo. On the other hand, if it makes it easier and more convenient for tourists to visit and see the wonders the Louvre holds, isn’t that a good thing?
Plus, imagine the possibilities with Louvre-themed happy meal toys! I can see kids trading their toys at the playground: “I’ll trade you Mohammed ibn al-Zain’s Basin for your Persian Frieze of Archers, okay?”