– No sales staff, but lots of technology: McDonald’s is testing a new concept in the US that requires significantly fewer employees. The branch in Texas doesn’t invite you to linger.
In the latter half of 2022, fast-food group McDonald’s opened a test branch with no sales staff. In day-to-day business, only the kitchen is staffed. Customers only interact with large touchscreen kiosks and robots. You’ll also miss the on-site dining options. The unique quick service restaurant is located near Fort Worth, the fifth largest city in the US state of Texas.
The test branch was created for suppliers on the one hand and customers who want to eat at home or on the go on the other. So the restaurant is more compact and instead of several indoor dining tables, there is a delivery pickup room for couriers, an order pickup shelf and kiosks where customers can place their takeaway orders. Orders are available for collection by robots and conveyor belts.
New McDonald’s Drive-In: “Order Ahead Lane”
The test branch also has two drive-thru lanes. The first lane is a classic drive-thru, with order at the first counter and pickup at the second counter. The fast-food giant calls the second lane the “Order Ahead Lane” — where food is only take-out and must be ordered in advance through the app. The company writes: “This is a great option for customers who want to place their order before arriving via the McDonald’s app, avoiding the traditional drive-thru line and getting their food quickly and conveniently.”
Employees can no longer see customers from the car. Orders are delivered via a food and beverage conveyor belt. “The technology in this restaurant not only allows us to serve our customers in new, innovative ways, but also frees up our restaurant team to focus more on the speed and accuracy of orders, making the experience more enjoyable for everyone.” , the owner of the experimental restaurant.
“At McDonald’s, we’ve set the standard for drive-throughs for more than 45 years,” said Max Carmona, McDonald’s senior director of global design & restaurant development. “As our customers’ needs continue to change, we strive to find new ways to serve them faster and easier than ever.”
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