Fast food: faster.

Since the opening of McDonald’s, the company has been known for its products and its expansion from an eight product-menu to a more than a hundred product-menu, making the typical ordering process in a fast-food restaurant an ordeal.

The secuence of a typical ordering process in a restaurant would be:

  • The customer approaches the counter and orders the products
  • The employee logs in every product, one by one, into the register
  • The customer pays while employees in the back prepare the burgers and then deliver them to another employee waiting in the front-end which bags the meals
  • The front-end employee then scrambles around the kitchen to grab sodas and desserts (increasing the waiting time)
  • Product is delivered to the customer

But since 2010, the company has started developing solutions and getting more and more interested in the experiential area of the business, and according to Melody Roberts, senior director of experience innovation, McDonald’s needed a system where the customers-employees-business relationship was more fluent and worked much better.
To do so, the company has designed what they call the 21st Century Operating Platform (21COP) and has started implementing the solution in thousands of restaurants globally. The 21COP includes:

  • Fast-forward drive-throughs
  • Ordering kiosks
  • Digital menu boards
  • A more efficient food-assembly process

A general overview of the new service and its ordering process would be:

  • The customer places the order through a credit card-enabled kiosk
  • Data is sent to the kitchen, where employees work separately, but in parallel, to complete the order, which derives in less running and less mess in the kitchen
  • The customer goes into the so-called collection area and retrieves the order decreasing considerably the waiting time

For more info here.