PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s been a tough year for America’s iconic fast food chain — McDonald’s.
U.S. sales fell 4.6 percent in November, so the company is shaking things up a bit next year, a surprise to many.
“Right from the beginning, and I’m old enough to remember the beginning of McDonald’s, they were reluctant to change their menu items,” Point Park University business professor Elaine Luther told KDKA money editor Jon Delano.
But enter the touchscreen.
Taking a page out Sheetz and, more recently, GetGo, McDonald’s is going to allow customers to special order their meals on a screen.
It’s a throw-back to Burger King decades ago: “Hold the pickle, hold the lettuce, special orders don’t upset us, all we ask is that you let us, serve it your way.”
For McDonald’s, serving it our way means back to the future with orders communicated electronically.
McDonald’s says they will install touchscreens in 2,000 of their 14,000 stores nationwide, and it’s not clear Pittsburgh will be on the list in 2015.
Whenever it comes, Luther thinks it has a generational appeal.
“I think it really makes sense for young people for a couple different reasons,” said one person. “People are accustomed to ordering things that way.”
Customers have mixed views of whether this will make the ordering experience better or worse.
“I think it’s a good idea if it expedites service a little bit because the term fast food is a misnomer anymore,” noted Rob Powell of Avalon.
“It will help with the process of what you’re getting like Sheetz does. I think it will be easier, a lot easier quicker,” added Stacy Fuqua of Monroeville.
“I think it’s going to slow down a lot. I think service is going to be really slow because people are going to take their time, if they mess up they’re going to have to go back, so yeah it’s going to be kind of complicated,” said Danielle Glover Ferguson of Sheraden.
Whether it’s faster or slower, McDonald’s admits customized burgers will cost more than a Big Mac.
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