McDonald’s Focus: Digital and Drive-Thru

McDonald’s Focus: Digital and Drive-Thru

January 20, 2021

McDonald’s had been losing customers before the pandemic hit.

The increased emphasis on drive-thru delivery speed across the fast-food industry is a major point of competition.  McDonald’s is already behind Burger King, Taco Bell and KFC, according to SeeLevel HX’s 2020 drive-through report.

McDonald’s had previously simplified its menu to promote speed of service. This change decreased wait time by 30 seconds on average.  Now, McDonald’s is moving to test three new features: express lines for customers who place digital orders ahead of time, dedicated pickup spots, and automated ordering.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the CNN article, McDonald’s has a plan to make its drive-thrus faster, by Danielle Wiener-Bronner, November 11, 2020; the Motley Fool article, Better Buy: McDonald’s vs. BJ’s Restaurants, by Leo Sun, January 13, 2021; and the YouTube videos in the Spotlight. Image source: payphoto/123RF

Discussion Questions:

1. Explain whether delivery speed for McDonald’s is an order qualifier or an order winner.

Guidance Continue reading

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Pandemic Pushes Grocers to Adopt New Tech

Pandemic Pushes Grocers to Adopt New Tech

October 14, 2020

The pandemic has created a need by grocers to make customers feel safer.  As a result, contactless technology is being retrofitted to brick-and-mortar stores.

Price Chopper, Wegmans, and Giant Eagle have introduced checkout-free technology in some stores.  Grocery chains were reluctant to invest in technology given the low profit margins in the industry, but the pandemic has put an emphasis on checkout safety and speed.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the CNBC article, How the coronavirus pandemic helped convince grocery chains to experiment with new tech, by Annie Palmer and Melissa Repko, September 9, 2020, and the YouTube videos in the Spotlight. Image source: Cryptographer/Shutterstock

Discussion Questions:

1. Given the pandemic, one order qualifier that is emerging is checkout speed at a grocery store.  Research several contactless technologies Continue reading

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New Service Process Designs at Fast Food Restaurants

New Service Process Designs at Fast Food Restaurants

September 28, 2020

Taco Bell, Shake Shack and Burger King are introducing new service process designs. These changes allow for more drive-thru lanes and increase automated pick-up in the store and at walk-up windows.

The changes are in response to the 26% increase in drive-thru orders during the pandemic.  The new stores also shrink the total building square footage of the restaurants, due to less indoor seating requirements.

Contactless customer order and pick up is a key feature in the new designs as well.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the CNBC article, These restaurant chains are unveiling new designs inspired by the pandemic, by Amelia Lucas, September 5, 2020, and the YouTube videos in the Spotlight. Image source: calimedia/Shutterstock

Discussion Questions:

1.  What are the order qualifiers being addressed by the new designs mentioned in the article?

Guidance: Students should agree that delivery speed is the major order qualifier.  Continue reading

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