McDonald's visual order system drives up sales

McDonald's visual order system drives up sales

Fast-food chain uses display-based ordering systems to improve accuracy and level of customer service

Display-based remote ordering systems have helped boost McDonald’s drive-thru sales by 26 per cent in the past four months as part of a wider restaurant refurbishment programme.

The first UK project of its kind will see customers given visual confirmation of food orders made via screens accessed from their cars. The system from supplier Acrelec is live in 12 outlets and will be rolled out to 150 sites by the end of the year.

Speed and accuracy were the main motivations behind the installation of order-taking
machines, McDonald’s head of business systems Vince Walsh told Computing.

“When they use the drive-thru facilities, customers do not normally check their receipts before they move to the next window and collect their food,” said Walsh.

“And if customers get the wrong item it is often too late, as they would have already left the site.

“The system minimises that risk and improves the level of customer service.”

Consumers are given a visual representation of their order including text, pictures and running total price.

The system also includes recommendations for additional meal items, with information
simultaneously passed through to the kitchen.

There are also non-technical aspects, said Walsh.

“We have improved signage and added speed bumps to the drive-thru lanes so that customers could notice the displays,” he said.

The visual system will replace the speaker posts used at McDonald’s drive-thru facilities. The voice-based ordering faced problems with road noise and staff being unable to hear customers’ requirements.

Display-based ordering units will address the issue, as will upgraded voice technology and improved wireless systems.