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    McDonald's: 1,000 New Kiosks Every Quarter

  • The update is expected to last more than two years.

    Jason Little
    The plan: 1,000 kiosk upgrades every quarter for the next eight to nine quarters.

    McDonald’s kiosk ordering platform first took off in France. It’s now one of the star features of the company’s ambitious “Experience of the Future” redesign, which is systematically rolling out across the country. Back in January, the fast-food giant announced its plan to invest some $2.4 billion of capital in 2018, the majority of which would go to deploying this fresh look, and a target of updating all free-standing U.S. stores by 2020.

    On Monday (June 4) chief executive officer Steve Easterbrook fine-tuned some of these targets when he spoke to CNBC on “Squawk on the Street.” The plan: 1,000 kiosk upgrades every quarter for the next eight to nine quarters.

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    “We're introducing many options. They can order through mobile, they can come curbside and we'll run it out as well as the existing traditional ways. You can pay in different ways and customize your food in different ways. I think we're trying to add more choice and variety,” Easterbrook said.

    Easterbrook added that the U.S. is actually a touch behind other markets. McDonald’s in Canada, the U.K., and Australia feature the kiosk service and mobile ordering. France and Germany are nearly 100 percent refreshed.

    The Experience of the Future prototype was originally launched during former CEO Don Thompson’s tenure. The first iteration was meant to spotlight customization—customers could select from more than 30 ingredients in building their own burgers. The current form, however, is geared toward offering more choice in the menu as well as showcasing new ways to access the brand, as Easterbrook alluded to. The mobile order and pay app rolled out nationwide over the course of 2017 and allows guests to order and pick up from the counter, drive thru, or curbside.

    This technology push joins McDonald’s growth into the delivery sector via UberEats. Like kiosks, delivery is already an established service internationally. In Asia, delivery accounts for 10 percent of system sales. About 75 percent of the population in McDonald’s top five markets (U.S., U.K., Germany, Canada, and France), are within 3 miles of a restaurants and 85 percent are within 5 miles, McDonald’s said.

    In the company’s latest earnings call, McDonald’s updated its efforts to 11,500 restaurants now offering delivery. It started as a 20-store test in Miami in January 2017.

    McDonald’s posted comparable same-store sales gains of 2.9 percent in the U.S. and 5.5 percent globally in the first quarter. McDonald’s solid showing marked the 11th consecutive quarter of positive comparable sales and fifth straight of positive guest counts.