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Report: Fast-food giant enters mobile ordering race


It’s easier than ever for McDonald’s customers to order a Big Mac — and avoid long lines at service counters.

The fast-food chain began testing mobile ordering and payment functionality within its app at 29 restaurants in Monterey and Salinas, California, on Wednesday, March 15. Another 51 restaurants in Spokane, Washington, are slated to launch the service on March 20, according to Reuters.

A move that it expects to bring “greater control, convenience and personalization” to its customers, McDonald’s said the app lets customers digitally place orders and then come into a restaurant to pick them up. Shoppers can also use in-store kiosks that can connect to their app profile, which holds customized favorites and preferred payment methods.

The result is a more stress-free, personalized experience, enhanced by technology and world-class hospitality that puts customers in control, the chain added.

By the end of the year, McDonald’s expects mobile order and pay will be available in 20,000 restaurants in its largest markets, including the U.S.

McDonald’s may seem like a latecomer in the mobile ordering race, but its late entry gave the chain ample time to learn from competitors’ challenges, including Starbucks’ recent struggle with getting completed orders to mobile shoppers in a timely manner.

“It's better to be right than to be first to market,” McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook said in the Reuters report, which added the project is expected to cut transaction times, reduce errors and free up workers to do things like deliver food to tables or cars in spots designated for mobile orders.

Overall however, the mobile app is taking on a bigger role: to be the catalyst that wins back customers after four straight years of traffic declines, Reuters reported.

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