Weil will routinely pull his team out of a conference-room brainstorming session onto the lab floor, shuffling equipment and cutting foam core to make his points more quickly. "Once you can see it," Weil says, "you can show it to an operations person and they can see the differences and they usually get it." Weil's scientific design method has led to some subtle but important changes in redesigned stores.
"Denis is big on frameworks," says Sigi Moeslinger, whose New York—based Antenna Design created the interfaces for the ordering kiosks Weil is experimenting with. "He's big into producing things that are transferable and sharable throughout the whole company."
Once ideas pass Weil's muster in the Innovation Center, he has to infuse them throughout the company, trying to sell thousands of owner-operators on overhauling.
Don Thompson, CEO of McDonalds says of master of design Weil: "He's become our centerpoint. We never really had that."