McDonald’s Accelerates In-Store Tech Rollout

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McDonald’s Accelerates In-Store Tech Rollout

By Anna Wolfe - 06/11/2018

For the next two years, fast food giant McDonald’s will be rolling out technology upgrades at 1,000 U.S. stores per quarter.

During its Q4 2017 earnings conference call, McDonald's executives revealed their 2018 plans to spend two-thirds of its capital on “accelerating the guest experience” within the U.S., as Hospitality Technology previously reported.  

"We have realized that we are going to need to continue to invest in technology and digital in order to keep up with where the world is going and our customers' expectations," said Kevin Ozan, CFO.  

The list of investments include online ordering, a geofence 300 feet around each location, in-store self-service kiosk, table service with Bluetooth-enabled counter cards and updated digital signage.

A Modern, Progressive Burger Company
CEO Steve Easterbrook shared more details of McDonald’s plan to become “a modern, progressive burger company” on CNBC’s "Squawk on the Street" on June 4, the day the fast-food giant opened its new HQ in Chicago’s West Loop.  

"If you think about only two years ago, if you were a customer, there were two ways you can get served at McDonald's," Easterbrook said. "You walked to the front counter and line up and take your drink and find a table, or you go through the drive-thru.

"We're introducing many options. They can order through mobile, they can come curbside and we'll run it out as well, as the existing traditional ways. You can pay in different ways and customize your food in different ways. I think we're trying to add more choice and variety," he said.

The tech investments coincide with makeovers to some of the locations. Easterbrook admits that some of the locations were "a bit tired looking." 

"This is also about having a much fresh and modern, inviting, warm engaging restaurant," he added. 

When it comes to these technologies, McDonald's U.S. stores lag behind its international brethren; UK, Canada, Australia already have these technologies and about half the locations in France and Germany have multiple ordering, pickup and delivery options, Easterbrook explained.

 As HT previously reported, McDonald’s started using UberEATS third-party delivery service at 20,000 U.S. locations last year. In some areas, U.S. customers can order through DoorDash. The fast-food giant is reportedly looking at other delivery options as well. In 2016, the burger chain brought in nearly $1 billion in delivery sales globally, reported CNBC.