McDonald's aims to win customers back with mobile ordering, delivery

McDonald's will start to roll out "mobile order and pay" in the fourth quarter and have it available at all of its roughly 14,000 US restaurants by year-end, Chris Kempczinski, president of McDonald's United States of America, said at the company's investor meeting in Chicago on Wednesday.

"McDonald's appears to found their focus on profitability through disciplined efforts to reduce costs and focus on the consumer experience including consumer-facing technology, improved convenience in payment and delivery and value to drive more customer visits throughout the day", Darren Tristano, president of Technomic, told CNBC.

McDonald's said it expects to remodel about 650 of its restaurants this year, bringing the total number of US restaurants with these capabilities to 2,400. McDonald's said it has lost 500 million transactions in its important USA market since 2012.

"Decongesting" the drive-thru in such a way could result in 20 more cars per hour and incremental sales, said Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook.

The burger chain says the kiosks it's already bringing to US stores will be able to access customers' app profiles, which can store "customized favorites and preferred payment methods".

If customers choose curbside service, they would park in a designated slot, and their order would be brought to the vehicle.

The new app will also allow people to place orders for curbside pickup.

The app would also work with the drive-thru.

Most of those customers have been lost to quick-service competitors. The service could include table service.

McDonald's would use incentives to encourage operators to add the kiosks quickly, executives said. The NPD Group has said it expects overall customer traffic in the restaurant industry to remain "stalled" this year, as it was last year.

  • Zachary Reyes