McDonald’s preps pan-European tech drive to ‘modernise’ stores

McDonald’s is introducing a flurry of technology innovations to its restaurants across Europe to speed up service times as part of a wider global ‘modernisation’ of its in-store experience.


McDonald’s is looking to improve the in-store experiences across the UK in 2014.

The fast food business plans to install self-order kiosks similar to those found in supermarkets for time-strapped customers. It would be an addition to the fast-lane service the chain already uses in some of its outlets and extends earlier trials across the region from 2011.

McDonald’s technology charge will also see it introduce mobile and web ordering. The brand is currently testing mobile click-and-collect in the US letting customers pick up food in stores or at the drive through.

It plans to launch over 300 new restaurants and revamp around 400 over the next year to support the pan-European charge.

The innovation push was first teased last October when McDonald’s hired its first digital chief to forge a more “comprehensive strategy” around online channels.

The investments, revealed in McDonald’s filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, are its latest attempt to reach out to millennials after it admitted last year to losing the influential demographic to healthier and more premium alternatives. Global innovations such as its McCafe range struggled to have an immediate impact on sales in the period forcing the brand to implement five-pronged marketing plan based on insights, innovation, value, modernisation and quality at the turn of the year.

In turn, the company is planning updates to its value and premium menus across Europe alongside enhancing its breakfast offering through its nascent coffee offering. It is also currently testing customisable sandwich options in response to the popularity of Subway’s presonalised food experiences.

The investments come at a time when rivals such as KFC and Subway are trialing similar digital initiatives to boost impulse sales while companies such as Starbucks are using technology to underpin their extensions into the casual dining market.

Readers' comments (1)

  • McDonald's must move into all things digital but, at least in the United States, that's not going to help sales. McDonald's menu has become so large that it just takes to long to make the food. Instant ordering and payment just creates more time that the customer has to stand around waiting for their food after the transaction is completed. Digital will not make the food faster.

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