A few months ago it was reported that McDonald's would be expanding their app in 2017 from a basic 'where is the closest McDonald's' to a full blown app. The new app can take your order, allow you to pay for your order, and go directly to McDonald's to pick up your awaiting food. It seems that time has arrived because you can now download the free McDonald's app from the Google Play Store and begin using it immediately in select markets, which includes 29 different locations across Monterey and Salinas, California, though McDonald's says that more markets will gain compatibility with plans to expand the test to 51 more restaurants on march 20th. You will still be able to locate the closest McDonald's stores, and the app will offer up more and better deals than before. McDonald's complete menu is accessible from the app, and it is very easy to use and navigate. Once you download the app, you simply must register one of the several ways – Facebook, Google, or register via an email confirmation. If you try and register other than through a confirmation email, the app will want access to your contacts or friends. If you register via email, you just put in your first and last name, street, and zip code, then create a password that must have at least one capital letter and one number, so it makes it rather secure.
In our fast-paced society, many people want to get their food as fast as they can without standing in line. There are many people that will avoid any place without a drive-thru window – it seems people do not mind waiting in a line as long as they can stay in their cars. That was the first step in putting the 'fast' into fast food. Smartphones came along and offered people apps that could be loaded with funds, such as Starbucks, and then use them to pay at the window. McDonald's was already allowing NFC payments at their stores since 2014, but the new app takes it many steps ahead by enabling you to order your food ahead of time and pay for it before we get to the window. A customer simply has to verbally say their order number and pick up their food and drive off. You can also pick it up inside, should you want to eat indoors, or use their new curbside service. The app also uses a geofencing technology that tracks the customer's location so that their order is prepared right before the customer arrives to pick up their food, allowing it to be as fresh and hot as is practical for fast food.
Studies have shown that other fast food restaurants have had an increase in sales and return business because of these new apps. While McDonald's was a little slow to get in the full-service app business, once they roll it out to all the stores, they should see a significant boost in sales. McDonald's is excited about the apps prospects as they move on next to a delivery service via third party apps. They are currently experimenting in Miami, Orlando, and Tampa Bay using UberEATS as their delivery service.