McDonald’s is planning to become more modern by updating it’s U.S. restaurants with self-service kiosk ordering, mobile payments, “smart” menu boards, custom sandwiches and table service.
About 500 of McDonald’s more than 14,000 U.S. restaurants have made the changes with Florida, New York and Southern California being the first regions to adopt the new format. Restaurants in San Francisco, Boston, Chicago and Seattle will start making the switch next year. McDonald’s will pilot mobile ordering in the United States in the first half of 2017 and do a national rollout in the second half, Chris Kempczinski, a former Kraft Foods executive who will take over as McDonald’s USA president on Jan. 1. Mobile ordering and payment will be added to the McDonald’s app, which has been downloaded by 16 million people.
The company wants new food and tech elements in addition to the restaurant makeovers. McDonald’s executives said that the equipment is not expected to reduce the number of workers in restaurants since traditional order takers would be redeployed to help customers learn to operate kiosks and to deliver food to tables.
On the healthier side Mcdonalds USA already has switched to chicken raised without antibiotics important to human health, replaced margarine with butter in its Egg McMuffins, and swapped sugar for high-fructose corn syrup in its hamburger buns.
Most recently, it said it would fully transition to cage-free eggs in the United States and Canada over the next decade.