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McDonald's starts testing mobile ordering in the US

By midian182 ยท 9 replies
Mar 16, 2017
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  1. Good news for McDonald's fans who find the outlet’s food just isn’t fast enough. The company has finally started testing mobile ordering at a number of stores in California and Washington, letting customers choose their food and drinks before arriving at a restaurant for instant pickup.

    McDonald's is the latest in a line of company to introduce mobile ordering; places like Starbucks and Chipotle, along with many pizza franchises, having offered the service for some time – and it hasn’t always worked perfectly.

    "It's better to be right than to be first to market," said McDonald's Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook.

    To use the system, simply place an order through the app, which is only available for iOS right now. When arriving at the restaurant, check in and pay using the application before picking up your food from the counter, drive-thru or curbside collection point. The app uses GPS to track your location, thereby (hopefully) ensuring the meal is freshly prepared for your arrival.

    The chain started tested the mobile app at 29 restaurants in Monterey and Salinas, California, yesterday. It will expand to 51 more outlets in Spokane, Washington, on March 20. Jim Sappington, McDonald's executive vice president of operations, digital and technology, told Reuters that, assuming the system is a success, there are plans to roll out mobile ordering to all 14,000 U.S. restaurants and some 6,000 others in Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Australia, and China, by the end of this year.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 7,986   +2,878

    I doubt very much I'll bother downloading the app when service eventually comes to us. I haven't ordered anything from McDonald's for more than a decade now. Mind you, that's just me. I'm not a fast or junk food eater anyway, I'd rather make my own food.
  3. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 1,710   +869

    If the world passed out laziness awards America would take home the majority of them.
  4. GreenNova343

    GreenNova343 TS Addict Posts: 122   +54

    Eh, I'm not sure I see the point, especially if there are issues with getting the order right.

    Now Wendy's, OTOH, has the right idea with the in-store self-serve kiosks. The big touch screens make it fairly simple to place your order (including customizing your options), takes a simple swipe of your debit/credit card (I think there's also a "pay at the counter" option, for those that still want to pay with cash), & it even tells you how to find your order on the "Next Up" screen at the counter. The best thing, though, is getting to bypass the lines. Last time I went to Wendy's, there were 4 people in line at the counter to order, but all 3 kiosks were idle & available...so I was able to get my order placed & be well ahead of the people in line (as well as the people that came in right after me).
  5. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 2,796   +1,534

    The unfortunate part of all of this will be the downsizing of staff with no impact upon the price of the product and God help you if they screw up your order and you have to go inside .....
  6. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,160   +829

    In Toronto there is something called Ritual, pretty much makes the ordering for big chains and you just pass by and pick it up, it's super convenient, specially on lunch time when everything is full everywhere, you get an ETA on when it will be ready for you to place the order accordingly to your arrival. No payment in the store, no line, super simple. I think this would be a great adding to McDonalds, even if I don't eat there or they are cutting jobs, it's better and faster for the consumer.
  7. Sean T

    Sean T TS Rookie

    Depends.... will they bring the award to my chair or will I have to get up?
    merikafyeah likes this.
  8. GreenNova343

    GreenNova343 TS Addict Posts: 122   +54

    I doubt there will be much, if any, impact. Prior to getting the kiosks, Wendy's would maybe have 1 person running the register up front, 2 people running the drive-thru, & everyone us (3-5 people) running their lines. McDonald's usually has about the same number of workers doing the same kind of work.

    Post-kiosks... Wendy's still has the same amount working, the only difference is that the front person splits their time maybe 75/25 between filling orders & taking them, versus the 50/50 they did before. I can't imagine that McDonald's would have that big of a difference in their experience.
  9. Steve G77

    Steve G77 TS Rookie

    If the kiosks become more popular, then you'll need to wait in line to use a kiosk. But if you use an app on your phone to order, there's no line.
  10. GreenNova343

    GreenNova343 TS Addict Posts: 122   +54

    Yeah, but 3 kiosks vs. 1 person taking orders at the register means even the kiosk wait won't be anywhere near as long, LOL.

    But yeah, ordering on the app helps as well -- I especially love being able to do that for Papa John's pizza (although, by the nature of their business, I've still had to wait sometimes for 5-10 minutes even on in-store pickup). And it seems like Chipotle's system works pretty well.

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