McDonald’s UK: 800 restaurants to be refurbished to speed up service, new changes to fast food chain explained

Around 800 McDonald’s stores across the UK will be refurbished

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McDonald’s has announced major changes to its restaurants across the country, including scrapping its front counter as part of a huge shake-up to get customers served quicker.

The fast food giant will refurbish 200 of its UK sites in 2022, and will roll out the new design to 800 branches in total over the next four years.

The changes will result in fewer people congregating around the touch screens and help to shorten queues, McDonald’s said.

Three restaurants have already been redesigned in Bow, east London, Peckham, south London and Kirkby, Merseyside.

What is changing in McDonald’s restaurants?

The burger chain will get rid of its staffed counter, giving more space to digital touch screens for ordering food.

McDonald’s said around 50% of its sales are now made either through its app or using touch screens.

It will create "specific areas for different sales channels", a move it said should mean fast food fans get their meals quicker.

Meanwhile, the new McDonald’s stores will have a collection hatch for delivery couriers picking up orders - providing them with a separate waiting area and entrance.

McDonald’s said it will also install bigger kitchens and separate areas for delivery and dine-in orders to speed up service.

The burger chain is also planning to improve the layout of its car parks to make pick up easier for drive-thru customers.

What has been said about the changes?

Gareth Pearson, McDonald’s UK and Ireland chief operations officer, said: "The pace of change within the restaurant industry is relentless, and the pandemic accelerated this with digital adoption gathering greater pace.

"Our customers rightly expect to have choice in how and where they order and collect their food, and our job is to ensure that every experience is a great one.”

Mr Pearson added: "For this to be the case, we know we also have to provide our restaurant teams and delivery partners with the best possible environment to work in."

How many McDonald’s restaurants will have the new changes?

In total, 200 will be redeveloped this year as part of McDonald’s £250 million Convenience of the Future upgrade programme.

800 altogether will be refurbished over the next four years.

Three restaurants have already been redesigned in Bow, east London, Peckham, south London and Kirkby, Merseyside.

The US firm already announced a big change to its UK restaurants last year.

It opened its first net zero restaurant in Market Drayton in December, and is planning to roll the concept out to more stores.

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