McDonald’s New Buying Experience – Touch-Screen Kiosk

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May 16 2011
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Once I had the opportunity placing orders using touch-screen, but not a kiosk though, at a Japanese restaurant. It uses a small computer screen, probably about 14-inch, and it was a fun and cool experience. I hate keeping the waiter or waitress standing next to me waiting impatiently as if the next hour would be the end of the world while I go through the menu, back and forth, trying to figure what should be the order. But with the touch-screen I can take my own sweet time placing the order while freeing the waiter or waitress up to do other more productive stuffs. Most importantly I can place new order using the touch screen while savouring my food.

Now, McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD, stock) is planning to change the way customers order their meals in Europe and in the process hopes to replace cashiers and the use of banknotes at its 7,000 fast-food restaurant with the introduction of touch-screen terminals and swipe cards. In actual fact, McDonald’s had been testing the concept of touch-screen kiosks for placing orders way back to 2003 in the U.S. but it was kiosks with cash only.

 McDonald's Drive Thru

McDonald’s Europe said that the changes would make life easier for consumers as well as improve efficiency, with average transactions 3 to 4 seconds shorter for each customer. It also hope the 1,200 McDonald’s outlets in the UK will be able to pay by simply swiping a Visa debit card. While some think it was a great idea, others argued they preferred to be serve with a smile.

It’s no brainer that the real objective was to make more money – by reducing service time in McDonald’s stores. The idea of touch-screen in McDonald’s Europe started in 2006 when the company started a prototype restaurant to re-image the outdated design of McDonald’s stores. The prototype restaurant’s front counter was curved in an attempt to be more inviting to customers with its surfaces painted in bright colours; and of course a touch-screen kiosk allows customers to place their order without queuing.

 McDonald's Touch Screen Kiosk

The fact that sometimes customers get less than what they ordered due to issue surrounding meal ordering is an order accuracy problem that is still happening using current cashier-ordering system. But with in-store touch-screen kiosk, customers communicate directly with the kitchen about their requirements. The user interface which display McDonald’s products in easy navigation tabs provides a whole new ordering experience which the company hope the customers would use more, and buy more in the process, hopefully.

It’s a matter of time before the new approach expanded to Asia such as Malaysia. So, what do you think about this new buying experience, if you had tried it before? Do you think the concept of touch-screen will make you a happier McCustomer because you can walk up to a kiosk, place an order and pick it up about 2 minutes later?

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Sakae sushi allows customer to order their food from the a computer screen with a mouse instead of touch-screen. In the case of McD, I personally think this is a cool idea and could be a new shift of food ordering with integrated payment feature in the future to come. If McD made it through massively this time, others will follow suit.

hello rob,

yes, it would be cool, not to mention customers do not have to queue for ages … sydney airport has such touch-screen … wonders if klia would do the same soon …

cheers …

There’s a company named “Conceptic” that has been doing that for years!

eMenu/digital menu is really on the rise now.. you should also check their iPad menu http://www.emenu-international.com/iPadMenu

Touch screen kiosk is a great experience for many customers of the business such the one of the largest fast food chains in the world (McDonalds). With this, many customers would opt to the touch screen kiosk because it is more convenient than the standing waiters/waitress. Having the touch screen kiosk in your business would probably increase more sales in your business.

I personally love this idea. I think we have all experienced the complications with a teller/wait staff either misunderstanding your order or entering it wrong. With a computer kiosk, these issues can be reduced. Sure, there might be something lost in not talking to a person, but search those feelings honestly: is this really why you go to fast food? We want fast food even faster. And these kiosks are most likely the way too that. Once all the kinks are worked out of the system.

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