McDonald’s will add kiosk ordering and modified table service at where once the meal is prepared; a staff member brings it to the patron’s table. It is moving away from its quick service restaurant image by rolling out digital self-order kiosks, table service and decor change that could give an impression of a regular dine – out place. That’s in contrast to the traditional practice of patrons picking up their orders at the counter.
The American fast food chain said the transformation is part of their global strategy of creating ‘Experience of the Future’ restaurant (EOTF) that will provide customer convenience through interactive technology. The target is to transform 25-30% of the existing 250 stores in the next three years, starting with Mumbai. They will continue to open 25-35 new stores enabled with the new technology every year simultaneously.
Amit Jatia, Vice-Chairman of Westlife Development, which owns the master franchise rights for over 250 McDonald’s outlets in South and West India said, “The new age customer is changing and technology is becoming wide spread. Customer experience is getting elevated through digital. So this is more about giving control in the hands of the customer. A lot of people don’t prefer QSRs because they don’t want to stand in long queues but now we are introducing table service. I think we will also be able to bring back consumers to QSR and to McDonalds.”
This move is consistent with the company’s global counterpart which began installing restaurants with self-service kiosk ordering, mobile payments, “smart” menu boards and table service in November last year. The company is also changing the décor of their stores to look more modern by trading bright reds and yellows with muted hues. “We have always said that as a brand, you will not recognize McDonalds every 2-3 years. Two years from now you will not recognize what McDonald’s is right now. We feel that for the brands to be relevant to the consumers, they need to keep changing things around,” said Jatia.
McDonald’s is adding new food items to the menu like salads, soups and whole wheat wraps in order to keep up with consumer demand for healthier products. In India, McDonald’s has been adding stores, new formats and services and invested nearly INR 500 Crores to open about 120 stores in the past five years.