I remember when my three children were young and we would venture out to McDonald’s. This would often times be in the dead of winter, since they offered a Playland where the kids could burn off some energy and I could get a small break. I recall the challenge of balancing a tray while trying to fill drinks, keep track of the kids, and find a seat. It wasn’t always easy.
It looks like McDonald’s knows that and has been making some big changes, or at least testing them out. One McDonald’s location in the UK is testing table service at their restaurant, along with 13 others across the UK. This follows other trial runs that were done late last year in US locations, including some California locations.
The main idea was to alleviate the stress of trying to find a table while walking around with a tray of food, especially so for parents like I was back in the day. There are other benefits to the change as well:
- Customers can place orders at digital kiosks for more efficient ordering. Some locations are still taking orders at the counter, and others are offering both options.
- Table service will “force” employees to come out from behind the counter, which should lead to more customer engagement as employees are delivering meals and assisting customers at the ordering kiosks.
- Engaged employees can lead to better customer satisfaction, something that the fast food giant has struggled with over the last few years.
- While the initial impression is that self-serve kiosks may result in needing less employees, this could actually be the reverse, especially in locations that offer “traditional” ordering at the counter. Especially during heavy customer traffic, additional employees will be required to deliver meals, which could help create more jobs.
I’d anticipate that this change will slowly take over the chain in some capacity. There may be challenges to the new process, especially in high volume restaurants during a rush, but overall it appears that this could be a welcome change for McDonald’s. Listening to the voice of the customer and making adjustments based on this feedback is important, and it looks like McDonald’s knows that.