It’s McDonald’s, but not as we know it.
The Ranelagh Street restaurant, which re-opened a few days ago, marks the final conversion in Liverpool city centre, with customers now being able to order online from touch screens around the restaurant.
Digital innovation is at the heart of the transformation. Rather than queuing up to be served, they can choose their meals on the touch screen kiosks. These include the option to customise classic burgers, ordering and paying by smartphone, card or contactless.
And the food doesn’t suit around waiting to be ordered – in the kitchens, new lay-outs and increased technology mean products are made specially to order, with every burger and wrap being freshly prepared.
By the time customers get to the counter, their customised order is ready.
As well as the touch screen ordering, free to use tablets have been installed at some tables for customers who want to check their newsfeed and emails, charge their phones or play the latest games.
The future could see even more exciting features introduced if current trials prove successful. A small number of restaurants are trialling ‘table service’, with the option to have food delivered direct to where people are sitting.
Operations Consultant Gary Whitehead, who started his McDonald’s career in the Lord Street restaurant in 1990, says: “We’re thrilled with the transformation because we’re committed to offering our customers more choice and fast service.
“Technology has a huge role to play in all walks of life, including our customers’ eating out experience, so the new tech we’ve introduced recognises the way people live their lives today. The response to the changes from my team has been very positive and they are enjoying the new ways of working.
“To ensure we continue to create an outstanding customer experience, we are also continuing to invest in my people through our industry-leading training programmes and career opportunities.”
There are 36 McDonald’s across Merseyside, 14 of which are in Liverpool, employing more than 1,517 people.
Lord Street, Ranlagh Street, Edge Lane, St Johns, Switch Island, St Helens 2, Prescot Retail Park and Liverpool 2 have already been converted with the new system, with the rest to follow soon. Many of the new features from Liverpool will start appearing in other McDonald’s restaurants in Merseyside with the McDonald’s in Wallasey transforming this year. Next year Liverpool Road, Knowsley, and in The Croft Leisure Park will have their make-overs too.
Paul Pomroy, CEO, McDonald’s UK, says: “We are confident that the investment we are making will bring new and exciting changes to McDonald’s in Liverpool and across the rest of the UK. We’ve listened to customer feedback and know we need to modernise further in order to move the McDonald’s experience on, and remain relevant to the lives of the 3 million customers that we serve daily. Our converted restaurants like this one in Liverpool will deliver a fast and easy experience, aided by digital and traditional ordering points ensuring we continue to be enjoyed by our customers.”