Fastfood giant McDonald’s Corp. is taking huge steps in order to bring back its appeal to millennials and to redeploy its labor force. It’s going to redesign its restaurants towards self-order kiosks, premium menu items, and real table service. This is also McDonald’s way to crash into the fast-casual restaurant industry competitors head-on before they can think of these similar changes. Of course, McDonald’s is just one of hundreds of other companies that saw the constant rise of the fast-casual restaurant industry over the last 10 to 20 years, not just in the United States but also all over the world. Because of this McDonald’s wants its customers to come to more upscale food place than just the traditional counter-based fast food eatery. It wants to incorporate good food also with good looks and good feels. According to McDonald’s by the end of this week it will have 500 restaurants in Southern California, New York City, and Florida that will incorporate these new futuristic experiences that will definitely include a lot of technology, food, and service upgrades into the more personalized kind.
The revamped McDonald’s restaurants will also launch in cities such as Washington, D.C., Boston, and Seattle by the start of 2017. Also by next year around 2,600 restaurants around the world will also switch to this more enhanced experience, all except the Philippines wherein franchisers have commented that consumers in that country will find the changes too complicated and confusing. By 2017, McDonald’s is also planning to come out with mobile ordering and mobile payments, initially in the U.S. Since 70% of McDonald’s restaurants have drive through this will also be getting an update by installing double lanes. But restaurants in very urban areas that don’t have drive through, these restaurants will remain as such. This new technology, especially the self-order kiosks, is centered towards front-house engagement that most millennials love with other modern restaurants. This is important for the restaurant company since millennials outspend the baby boomer and Gen-X generations two times more.
The front-house engagement is meant to make ordering faster for consumers and make service quicker and more convenient. Hopefully, McDonald’s will see its market share go up with these changes. Many McDonald’s Corp. executives are also commenting that “if Starbucks can upgrade four of its coffee shops in a radical manner, so can we, even if we’re not serving coffee.” They also added that all this fast-casual technology spins to get away from the traditional fast-food chain identity will still mean the same high quality food and dish lineups on their menu. They know that no matter what improvements or technology you put in, the bottom line is that people go to McDonald’s to eat, but they want their customers to come away feeling good. So far, other burger providers are now more into going back in retro style to the mom and pop burger joints popular in the 60’s and 70’s.