Earlier this month, we told you about a new mobile ordering app being planned and tested by McDonald’s. Now, a new report from Reuters offers more details on the upcoming app, as well as the company’s push to catch up with established mobile ordering offerings from competitors like Starbucks…
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Speaking to Reuters, McDonald’s executive vice president Jim Sappington explained that critical to the company’s mobile ordering app is not letting the quality and speed of food be affected. Sappington says that if a customer has as an excessive wait time or is served cold food, he or she will wonder, “Why did I use the app?”
One of the big differentiators for the new McDonald’s app is that it will be location-aware. This means that when the app realizes a customer has physically arrived at the restaurant, it will send a notification asking for confirmation and payment. Once payment is received, the order will be sent to the kitchen.
The app will also ask users if they will pick up their order in the drive-through, at the counter, or curbside. There will also be a table service option. McDonald’s believes that this location tracking will help ensure the best combination of speed and food quality. The restaurant chain estimates that if 20 percent of drive-through customers opt for curbside and another 20 percent use the current drive-through lanes for pickup only, a McDonald’s location could serve an extra 20 cars per hour.
Furthermore, McDonald’s says that by automating more orders, employees will be freed up to deliver food to tables or cars, while errors will also be reduced.
In addition to the new mobile app for ordering, McDonald’s also plans self-service ordering kiosks. The company is currently testing most of its new efforts in a Chicago warehouse, where it has established a new “high tech” restaurant.
Currently, McDonald’s is testing the new mobile app at 29 restaurants in Monterey and Salinas, California. The pilot program will expand to an additional 51 restaurants in Spokane, Washington on March 20th. As for a public launch, the company hopes to release the app by the end of this year to all 14,000 U.S. restaurants and 6,000 locations in the U.K., France, Germany, Australia, China, and Canada.