McDonald’s has unveiled a long-term global growth plan, outlining a range of technology-driven initiatives to increase the number of customers it serves and provide significant growth.
“We have fundamentally changed the trajectory of our business over the past two years. Now, we are fit for purpose, ready to build on our momentum and transition to focus our efforts on profitable, long-term growth,” said President and CEO Steve Easterbrook.
“We are building a better McDonald’s, one that makes delicious feel good moments easy for everyone, and I believe the moves we are making will reassert McDonald’s as the global leader in the informal eating out category.”
One of the main focuses of the plan is to increase the company’s use of technology in order to improve the customer experience “in restaurants, in the drive-thru, and on the go”, building on the introduction of wireless charging hotspots in 2015.
Inside the restaurants, McDonald’s is introducing electronic kiosks where customers can place their orders and skip queuing at the main counter. According to the company, these kiosks provide “greater control, convenience and personalisation,” as well as removing the need to queue at all as food is delivered to their table.
In addition, customers will be able to order their food via a mobile app for pickup or through a kiosk that recognises their app profile. The app will hold personal preferences such as favourite meals and preferred payment methods, providing a smoother, more personalised experience.
McDonald’s is also changing the drive-thru experience with the introduction of mobile order and pay, enabling customers to skip the queue and get their food delivered “curbside”. Or, customers can read out their already-placed order code in the drive-thru and pick up the order straight away at the window.
The mobile feature will be launched in 20,000 restaurants in some of McDonald’s biggest markets by the end of this year.
The fast food giant is also seeking to capitalise on the rapid growth of delivery services, which it describes as “one of the most significant disruptions in the restaurant business today” and an “exceptional opportunity for growth”.
McDonald’s believes its global footprint makes it “uniquely positioned” to lead the delivery charge, with 75 percent of people in the US, France, Germany, Canada and the UK living within three miles of a Big Mac.
It already makes a huge amount of money from food deliveries in areas such as China, South Korea and Singapore – nearly $1 billion annually – and its convenient nature and close proximity to so many potential customers could make McDonald’s ideally placed to significantly expand its delivery capabilities.
Easterbrook also revealed some financial updates, featuring savings of more than $200 million in 2016, as well as performance expectations for 2019 and beyond.
The company predicts Systemwide sales growth of 3-5 percent, operating margin growth from the high-20 percent range to the mid-40 percent range and earnings per share growth in the high-single digits.
“Through enhanced technology to elevate and modernise the customer experience, a focus on the quality and value of our food and redefined convenience through delivery, we have a bold vision for the future and the urgency to act on it,” said Easterbrook.
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