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OAK BROOK, Ill. — McDonald's is planning to draw in more customers by making it more convenient for them to choose the fast food giant when they're hungry, according to media reports.
The initiatives that are designed to accomplish this include expanded delivery and digital ordering kiosks, along with a new app.
In a warehouse near the company's headquarter's in Oak Brook, a display shows a cell phone screen with McDonald's mobile app that is set for national launch later this year. McDonald's estimates that it would take only 10 seconds for customers to tell an employee the order number from the app, compared to an average of 17 seconds for an order at the drive-thru, reported the Chicago Sun-Times.
"Five, 10 years ago, we were the dominant player in convenience, as convenience was defined in those days," said McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook. "But convenience continually gets redefined. And we haven't modernized."
The company has not released details on how the mobile app will work, but one possibility is that customers could pull into a designated parking spot where an employee wold bring out the order. This would cut down on backups at the drive-thru, which in turn might prevent potential customers from driving by without stopping during busy times, the news source speculates.
McDonald's also announced that it has expanded McDelivery with UberEATS to 13 countries, including 3,500 restaurants in the United States in the past three months. In total, the delivery program is available at more than 7,800 restaurants in 47 countries and six continents.
To celebrate the milestone, McDonald's designated July 26 as Global McDelivery Day, surprising customers who order McDelivery with special deliveries and fun McDonald's moments.
"We are excited to bring this new level of convenience to more of our customers around the globe, delivering on our commitment to transform the customer experience in and out of our restaurants," Easterbrook said. "Global McDelivery Day is our way of celebrating the expansion of delivery while highlighting McDonald's ability to give our customers the great tasting food they love at McDonald's, where they want to enjoy it."
In select cities and countries where McDelivery is available through UberEATS, McDonald's customers will have access to the free, limited-edition McDelivery Collection of fashionable items:
- In the U.S., model Chrissy Teigen will deliver McDelivery Collection gear for several group deliveries in New York.
- In Canada, consumers who find the mysterious McBench can get McDonald's delivered right to their spot.
- In Italy, celebrity Belén Rodriguez will surprise fans with special McDelivery orders.
- In Japan, customers will have the option to "Order a Smile" to receive a personalized thank you message from crew members.
- In the Netherlands, McDonald's is delivering to fans who have posted on social media about why they need a McDelivery.
"We are excited to celebrate our global expansion with McDonald's," said Jason Droege, head of UberEverything. "UberEATS is happy to make food delivery easy at the push of a button whether you're enjoying a McNuggets picnic with a side of fresh air or hanging back at home with a Big Mac and matching pillowcase."
Additionally, to lure in more mid-afternoon customers, McDonald's is adding sweet items such as croissants, muffin tops and a new sundae-topping station, reported Bloomberg. Currently, only approximately 5 percent of McDonald's customers visit at non-meal times, identified as 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
One of the company's goals is to "bring the casual customer in the door more often," Easterbrook told investors in May.