Here’s How McDonald’s Can Benefit From Integrating Its Digital Initiatives

by Trefis Team
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As restaurants look at efficiency, lower waiting times, more personalization, and better customer engagement as the key drivers to retain and grow customers, a mobile ordering and payment platform has become a necessity. Starbucks pioneered this concept two years back and now nearly 25% of its orders are placed via the mobile app. Other companies have followed suit – Restaurant Brands International being the latest entrant with a mobile ordering platform for its Tim Hortons chain. McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) had announced in March last year that it is working on a digital platform which will be rolled out to all its restaurants by the end of this year. The company already has launched the digital ordering platform in 5,000 of its restaurants and is on track to meet its year end goal. However, McDonald’s appears to be learning from the mistakes of its competitors and is building an integrated digital solution to better serve customers. Starbucks faced serious congestion issues at its stores due to the overwhelming success of its digital ordering platform and the company’s restaurants were not equipped to take the load at the hand-off plane. Learning from this experience, as it rolls out the digital ordering platform, McDonald’s is also upgrading and renovating its restaurants under its “Experience Of The Future” initiative. Apart from allowing customers to order via kiosks and table service, these new restaurants will also have a designated pick-up area for orders placed via the mobile app. While several such restaurants are already functional, the company expects to upgrade 2,500 restaurants by the end of this year.

McDonald’s is lagging behind competitors in launching a mobile ordering platform which is revolutionizing the restaurant industry. However by integrating its digital initiatives the company is working on delivering a better customer experience. Orders placed via kiosks or mobile phones can both be personalized and analyzed later by the company to study consumer preferences. Upgrading its restaurants along with offering a digital ordering system for pick up will allow the company offer a superior customer experience both for in dining and take away. Further, by allowing customers an option for table delivery of orders placed at restaurants and kiosks for placing orders, the company is ensuring that its employees will be able to handle the volume of orders (both in store and via mobile phones) without compromising on service efficiency. With fresh beef burgers on the anvil, it will take longer for its restaurants to serve some menu items and this time can be compensated by a kiosk ordering system which will reduce the personalization time.

We believe McDonald’s is implementing a well-thought through digital strategy integrating its mobile platform and store experience. As it upgrades its restaurants into “Experience Of The Future” stores and simultaneously rolls out the mobile ordering platform, digital initiatives are likely to drive revenues for the company in the long term.

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