McDonald's tests table service overseas
Fast food giant McDonald's is testing out table service in the United Kingdom. If received well, the test might become permanent.
McDonald’s is offering table service in one Manchester restaurant, will offer it soon in 11 more restaurants and could roll it out across its 1,250 UK locations if the service style is well received, The Guardian reports.
“We have listened to customer feedback and to meet their evolving expectations we are significantly investing in our restaurants to create an exciting new environment and improve the customer experience,” UK Managing Director Paul Pomroy told the newspaper. “We also plan to test some new ideas. For example, we know that for parents it can be tough juggling the kids and carrying your food, so we have decided to trial table service, whereby customers place their order via our new kiosks and then have their food brought to them.
Table service is part of the Create Your Taste experience in Australia.
“It’s an idea that has been successfully launched in France, and we are keen to see if it will prove as popular with our customers in the UK,” Pomroy added
The paper says McDonald’s is in the midst of an estimated £350 million store-improvement program. “This includes providing Apple iPads and Samsung Galaxy tablets that children can play with, installing digital kiosks where customers can make orders and building glass shopfronts on McDonald’s restaurants.”
But the chain seems keen to add upscale service. McDonald’s Corp. “This is where McDonald’s is headed,” CEO Steve Easterbrook said in March at its Frankfurt Airport location, where diners can order and get food at a counter or order from a kiosk and have it brought out to them. In Australia, food is brought to diners who construct a Create Your Taste customized burger.
McDonald’s has seen explosive growth of fast-casual burger concepts in the UK. Local chains include Byron, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Handmade Burger Company and Honest Burgers, plus many independents such as Chop Shop, Burger & Shake and Ruby Burgers. And Shake Shack and Five Guys are there; Smashburger is coming.
Some chains may have given up introducing LTOs in bunches, but Johnny Rockets is staying with it and saying it works just fine. In May it rolled out a set of Route 66-inspired burgers. Now it’s adding three “International Flavors” LTOs (through Sept. 20, 2015). As with the previous promotion, the new sandwiches have been developed based on extensive customer input. The chain’s culinary team has asked diners to evaluate ingredients, names and price points.
The new Irish Pub Burger has melted Cheddar on a beef patty topped with caramelized onions, grilled mushrooms, Dijon mayo, tomato and spring greens on a buttered, toasted pretzel bun. The Korean BBQ Burger melts provolone cheese on a beef patty and tops it with a sweet and spicy Korean BBQ sauce, lettuce and tomato on an artisan bun. The third selection is a Mexican Chipotle Guacamole Chicken sandwich with pepper-Jack cheese melted on a grilled chicken breast with house-made guacamole, spicy chipotle ranch sauce, tomato and spring greens on a wheat bun.
There’s also a limited-time flavor addition to its milkshake line: The Reese’s Peanut Butter Shake is made with premium ice cream, Reese’s peanut butter sauce and chocolate syrup, topped with mini Reese’s peanut butter pieces and whipped cream.
A new study of consumer attitudes toward QSRs finds that having more units doesn’t get you more love. Salt Lake City-based InMoment Inc. conducted the research on the top 63 QSR brands with a panel of 9,000 consumers. The score used to determine rankings is something it calls “% Delighted” (%D), described as “InMoment’s own composite loyalty index…based on more than a decade of Voice of the Customer experience. By combining multiple key indicators, we arrive at a score that not only reflects current performance; it projects a likelihood of maintaining success in the future.” Got it? Among the findings:
- What areas of performance do consumers say are most important in evaluating a QSR? Food, Staff, Atmosphere, Speed of Service and Menu Selection. InMoment notes that the QSR rated highest for menu selection ranked #8 in %D.
- Only one unidentified brand had a %D score above 70%; two were in the 60% to 70% range. Nearly half had 40% to 50% scores.
- The 10 brands with the highest average %D have between 1,000 and 2,000 units. The bottom 23 have between 3,000 and 4,000 stores.
- Only three of the nine brands with 3,000 to 9,000 stores had %D scores in the top half. Among those with 10,000 or more, only one—Pizza Hut—was in the top half
This article originally appeared on Burger Business