Ordering a meal from McDonald's is about to be a supremely seamless process for its customers, because the popular fast-food chain is finally ready to catch up to its competitors in a major way -- by launching mobile order-and-pay technology.
Hungry customers won't have to walk up to the McDonald's counter anymore; they won't even have to brave the drive-thru. According to Business Insider, they will be able to both order and pay for their food directly from their smartphones.
McDonald's spokeswoman Becca Harry said the technology will be implemented in the U.S. and several international lead markets, including Australia, Canada, France and the UK, sometime in 2017. Come 2018, as many as 25,000 McDonald's establishments worldwide will be set up with the technology.
According to Neil Saunders, the CEO of retail consulting firm Conlumino, McDonald's has truly been missing out by taking so long to implement the mobile order-and-pay function that so many of its competitors have already embraced; the technology isn't novel or new, and many are surprised that McDonald's is only now beginning to seriously implement it.
Sure, McDonald's has been playing around with the futuristic kiosks in stores, and trying to make certain establishments appear more high-end, but this step is extremely accessible and easy for customers to use. After all, McDonald's is a fast-food chain, at the end of the day. And fast food conjures to mind images of people who want fresh food for a reasonable price -- and they want that food fast.
"Many customers dislike the process of selecting what they want, standing in line and ordering, and then waiting for their food," Saunders told Business Insider. "It is the slow bit of fast food. As we have seen with Starbucks, many would prefer to pick what they want in advance and then come and pick the products up when they are ready."
What do you think? Are you excited about the new mobile order-and-pay technology?