In order to encourage greener behavior among its dine-in customers in China, McDonald’s is adopting a novel strategy. The nation’s largest fast-food chain has implemented exercise bikes, dubbed “The Green Charging Bike,” in two of its restaurants as a test project.

Launched in September 2021 at the Jieyang Wanda restaurant in Guangdong Province and later extended to the New Hualian restaurant in Shanghai, the initiative enables patrons to ride these specifically built exercise bikes while indulging in their favorite McDonald’s dishes. These bikes are unique in that they can produce electricity while being ridden, which can subsequently be utilized to power gadgets like cell phones.

McDonald’s claims that this creative idea is in line with China’s “Upcycle for Good” programme, which aims to produce goods made of plastic components derived from recycled resources. The company hopes that by introducing these bikes, patrons will be inspired to adopt more environmentally friendly practices and make a beneficial impact on the environment while dining at its restaurants.

The response to this exclusive product has been astounding; a TikTok video that went viral and featured clients using the workout bikes in China has received over 2.2 million likes.

Over the years, McDonald’s has made efforts to provide consumers with healthier options. It eliminated chocolate milk and cheeseburgers off its Happy Meal menu in 2018 in an effort to lower the amount of calories, sodium, saturated fat, and sugar in meals intended for children. A McDonald’s mainstay for almost 40 years, the Happy Meal has frequently drawn criticism from parents and health experts for possible connections to childhood obesity. In response, the corporation has made a number of changes over time, including shrinking the fries’ serving sizes and offering more fruit options. Most recently, it switched to a lower-sugar apple juice in place of the original.

Additionally, in 2019, McDonald’s made a foray into the plant-based food market with the launch of the PLT, a burger made with plant-based patties from Beyond Meat, a firm based in California that makes meat substitutes using components including beet juice, canola oil, and pea protein.

With McDonald’s always looking for new methods to satisfy customer demands and environmental concerns, the installation of exercise cycles at Chinese restaurants is an innovative technique to encourage greener living and healthier living among its patrons. If this pilot initiative is successful, it may lead to the unique product being adopted globally and expanded to additional places.