McDonald’s UK&I to kickstart £250m future-fit estate transformation plan

McDonald’s UK&I is to invest over £250m over the next four years as the brand embarks on a programme to redesign part of its portfolio.

With consumers increasingly looking for greater speed, efficiency and choice in how they order their food, the ambitious ‘Convenience of the Future’ upgrade programme will see McDonald’s UK&I shake up the way its restaurants operate to reflect the increasingly diverse ways that customers can order and keep pace with customer expectations today and tomorrow.

This year McDonald’s will introduce Convenience of the Future in 200 restaurants with 800 conversions planned over the next four years. The Convenience of the Future platform will continue to evolve and introduce new innovations depending on the customer need and the restaurant format.

While the traditional walk-in and drive-thru remain core to how customers order, the redesign of McDonald’s kitchens and dining areas will better integrate digital sales channels, MyMcDonald’sApp, and make smarter use of space. Reflecting the rise in delivery, which marks its five-year anniversary this June, a separate delivery courier collection area is also being introduced.

With approximately 50% of sales now going through digital channels, including McDelivery, mobile, and self-order screens, the restaurant revamp will also provide restaurant teams with the technology, equipment, and space to work together more effectively and better manage more complex or personalised orders.

Positive impacts are already being seen with increased customer satisfaction in restaurants where delivery is particularly popular and in Drive-Thrus. Restaurant teams are also responding positively to the new working environment and have seen a meaningful increase in sales in the first restaurants to be reimagined – Bow, Peckham and Kirkby, demonstrating the impact that this investment will have.

Some of the key innovations that will be roled out through the Convenience of the Future programme include:

• Front counter redesign: will create specific areas for different sales channels, meaning more space for customers to enjoy their meal, less congestion around touchscreens, and shorter queues.
• Dedicated courier waiting area and entrance: will allow crew to better accommodate courier needs, alongside reducing congestion in the dining area to create a more relaxing restaurant environment for customers.
• New kitchen design: a bigger order assembly area, and dedicated areas to prepare McDelivery and dine in orders, will help crew serve more quickly, efficiently, and accurately than ever before.
• Improved car park layout: will create a separate parking area for couriers, and modified traffic routes will improve circulation around the restaurant so it’s much easier for Drive-Thru and Click & Collect customers to get their order.
• Improve break spaces: redesigned crew rooms will create a more relaxing and comfortable space for crew to take a well-deserved break.

COO Gareth Pearson commented, “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. 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.

“We strongly believe we have to continue to invest to grow, and this investment not only addresses how customers are ordering now but provides us with a platform to continue to adapt in the future, whatever that innovation looks like.”

Convenience of the Future will also incorporate learnings and innovations from McDonald’s first net-zero carbon emission restaurant in Market Drayton, as the business works towards its target of achieving net zero emissions across all its restaurants and offices by 2030.

Some of the successful innovations being rolled out include LED lighting and wall graphics made from recycled coffee cups; recyclable floor and wall tiles; and furniture which is made from fully recycled materials and that is itself fully recyclable.