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Ordering food online is a quick and convenient way to pay for your meal. Not only does it help you avoid long lines, but also the disappointment of receiving the wrong order. Although it took them forever, McDonald’s is finally preparing to launch mobile order-and-pay. Soon, customers will be able to order right from their smartphones.

McDonald’s is gearing up for mobile order-and-pay 

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Finally, one of the world’s favorite fast food restaurants is partaking in the latest trend: mobile order-and-pay. In due time, customers will have the option of ordering and paying for their meals conveniently from their smartphones.

During sometime next year, the technology will be available in the US and international lead markets, including Australia, the UK, Canada, and France, says McDonald’s spokeswoman Becca Hary.

It won’t stop there, though. According to Hary, by 2018, over 20,000 to 25,000 restaurants worldwide will embrace the new technology.

Ordering and paying for food from a smartphone has become quite popular and successful in the fast food industry. Despite its significant boon in the fast food world, McDonald’s is one of few restaurants that resisted adopting the trending technology.

Not only does smartphone order-and-pay help the businesses, but also their customers. In addition to reducing wait times, it also improves order accuracy and more.

In July 2015, McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook discussed mobile ordering and how in the future, customers may be able to order ahead-of-time from their app. Moreover, when they arrive for their food, the restaurant will be notified of their arrival via their phone’s geo-location services.

McDonald’s began testing mobile ordering earlier this year at 22 locations in Colombus, Georgia. However, according to Ad Age, they later ended the trial.

What is taking McDonald’s so long?

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According to industry experts, McDonald’s is missing out on big opportunities by not embracing mobile order-and-pay. Neil Saunders, CEO of retail consulting firm Conlumino, says having the technology is normal these days,

This isn’t new technology, it’s something that should be fairly standard nowadays.

Although McDonald’s still isn’t rolling out mobile ordering, some restaurants are adding mobile kiosks, which work just the same. However, they are far more costly. The kiosks, in particular, cost about $125,000 per installation.

Likewise to kiosks, mobile ordering helps avoid interaction with employees and long wait times. According to Saunders, customers want to be able to pick up their food and go quickly,

Many customers dislike the process of selecting what they want, standing in line and ordering, and then waiting for their food.

It is the slow bit of fast food. As we have seen with Starbucks, many would prefer to pick what they want in advance and then come and pick the products up when they are ready.

Over the next two years, McDonald’s says its planning to accelerate its investment in kiosks and their app. Not only can mobile order-and-pay decrease labor costs, but also the number of employees,

This would be helpful to the company at a time when wage pressures are becoming a heavier burden on the cost line.

It would also give McDonald’s an opportunity to track consumer behaviour and buying patterns and stimulate spending with offers and deals.

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