McDonald’s, via Reuters, has begun testing of its mobile app ordering system at 29 select locations in California with plans to expand to 51 locations in the Spokane, Washington area next week.
Interesting use of geofencing technology
The fast food giant believes that the system can help bring back customers after four years of decline in traffic:
“We can’t impact the speed or the quality of our food,” Jim Sappington, McDonald’s executive vice president of operations, digital and technology, told Reuters in an interview at a temporary warehouse space in Chicago’s West Loop where the company has built a new high tech restaurant. It features a redesigned kitchen to speed order flow and show off its technology initiatives.
If its famous french fries are served cold or if mobile customers have to wait for orders, “you get a question of ‘Why did I use the app?’,” Sappington said. “Our focus is to make the overall experience clearly better.”
Once the pilot test is complete, McDonalds is hoping to roll out the technology to more than 14,000 United States locations and 6,000 others in the Canada, UK, France, Germany, Australia, and China, by the end of 2017.
Unlike other major mobile ordering apps from big names like Starbucks, McDonald’s app will use geofencing technology. Only after the customers arrives at the restaurant will the order be confirmed, payment sent, and sent to the kitchen.
The final version will allow customers to select table service, counter or drive-through pickup, or curbside delivery. There’s no word whether the app will support Apple Pay.
With two young children at home, eating at McDonald’s is pretty much a weekly occurrence. While I like the idea of being able order on my iPhone, I question whether my local McDonald’s will be ready for the extra onslaught of customers.