McDonald’s Continues To Expand Mobile Order & Pay

by Raymond Pucci 0

Big Mac fans are salivating. McDonalds is on track to enable its 14,000 U.S. stores to handle mobile order and pay app orders by the end of 2017. As the following article reports, after some testing in California stores, the New England area is the latest to receive the popular line-skipping mobile app.

Customers at eastern New England McDonald’s restaurants can now use the fast food chain’s mobile application for advance ordering and payment. The “mobile order and pay” tech is available at McDonald’s east of Worcester in Massachusetts, and in Rhode Island and New Hampshire, a local spokeswoman said.

In the hope of speeding up customer wait times, easing restaurant congestion during peak periods and reducing order errors, McDonald’s started testing the new service in California in March.

Customers use the app to place an order, which is transmitted to the chosen McDonald’s location. When the customer uses the app to “check in” at the restaurant, they must choose whether they want to have a McDonald’s employee bring out their order curbside to a designated parking space, pick up the order inside the restaurant or have it handed to them in the drive-thru line. At that point, the restaurant will start preparing the order and charge the customer’s payment card, spokeswoman Liz Iannotti said.

More New England McDonald’s locations will roll out mobile order and pay in the coming weeks, Iannotti said.

“With digital, we see a clear opportunity to provide an even higher level of convenience and personalization for customers on their terms,” McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook said during the company’s most recent earnings call. “To do that, our current priority is mobile order and pay.”

The chain will also eventually let customers route their McDonald’s delivery orders through its mobile app to the platforms of UberEATS and other third-party delivery services, according to Easterbrook, who said the option will “further strengthen the experience for the customers.”

Mobile order and pay is a fast growing sales channel that many Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) are using to grow sales and increase store capacity utilization. Whereas most QSRs have customers go inside the store for their mobile order, McDonald’s gives mobile customers three pick-up options: in-store, drive-thru window, or curbside delivery. The big three hamburger joints (including Burger King and Wendy’s) have been late to the party for mobile order and pay. But McDonald’s is going all out with its mobile app. Let’s see if Egg McMuffin lovers will do the same.

Overview by Raymond Pucci, Associate Director, Research Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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