McDonald’s Wants People to Eat Faster

McDonald’s is the oldest of America’s large food chains. It claims to have sold a million burgers, then 100 million, then a billion, and the total has run higher. It also distinguishes itself as an early adopter of drive-thru food pickups and 24-hour service. Next is McDonald’s new plan for customers to grab its food even faster. In a world where speed of service and price are critical, McDonald’s has jumped out in front of its competitors once more. It has created a line of services to help speed the customers from ordering to eating.

The latest McDonald’s initiative is on display at one of its locations in Texas. Among the new features is a conveyer belt in drive-thru lanes to cut people’s time to get their orders. This new location is smaller. Its design assumes people want to take their orders somewhere outside the restaurant to eat. Some parking areas are just for people who want to pick up their orders. Another bit of technology allows workers to prepare orders when customers are further from the restaurants, as was the case in the past.

The new restaurants are an admission that McDonald’s should have acknowledged years ago. People have been picking up orders for decades. The process could be onerous, hampered by long lines and slow service. Likely, some customers went elsewhere because they believed service would be faster.

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McDonald’s is shoving the dagger into the competition, already wrestling with revenue challenges. First is Subway, which many fast-food industry experts believe would overtake McDonald’s. Another was Burger King, which appears to have fallen off the map. Chipotle is a good deal smaller. Chicken places like KFC and Chick-fil-A have done better. So have pizza leaders, led by Pizza Hut.

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The fast-food industry has been a war zone for years, and McDonald’s just added more ammunition.

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