McDonald’s on Thursday announced changes that could reshape the diner’s experience, saying that it would expand its digital self-serve ordering stations and table service to all of its 14,000 American restaurants.
The company said once people order at one of the stations — sleek, vertical touchscreens — they will get a digital location device and can take a seat. When their burgers and fries are ready, the technology will guide a server to the table to deliver the food with a big smile and a thank you.
How quickly the restaurants change remains to be seen. The vast majority of McDonald’s locations are owned by franchisees, and they will be responsible for paying for the changes. Equipment and installation of the eight order screens at the event on Thursday, at a location in the TriBeCa neighborhood of Manhattan, cost $56,000, said Terri Hickey, a spokeswoman for McDonald’s. The costs for a store with lower sales volume would probably be about $28,000.