The new, in-restaurant kiosk ordering experience is being rolled out at McDonald’s restaurants across South Africa
The new, in-restaurant kiosk ordering experience is being rolled out at McDonald’s restaurants across South Africa

We tried out McDonald’s new self-service system

By Lutho Pasiya Time of article published Apr 20, 2018

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Nearly everyone has a bad customer service story from McDonald’s, thanks to its sometimes less than desirable service, which has earned the fast food joint a bad reputation.

Poor customer service ranges from poor quality food, which can lead to a host of other problems (food poisoning, for one), or waiting too long for an order. 
I’ve also been a victim of McDonald’s poor service, so I decided to use UberEats, whenever I have a McDonald’s craving. So when McDonald’s invited me to their open door session recently, I said yes, because I wanted to address them about my issues. 

Hosted by McDonald’s Berea branch, the session was an exclusive tour that included a kitchen walk-through to experience first-hand how their food is prepared, stored and served to customers. 

This was an opportunity to learn about their commitment to high quality, safety and cleanliness measures while preparing the food. 
The tour was conducted by the general manager, Prashan Maharaj. 

To encourage customers back to its stores, McDonald’s has a new concept, “Experience of the Future”, which will provide customers with a modern dining experience. 

Customers will be able to order food using touch screen kiosks and will get table side food delivery as well. 
Maharaj said they are trying to renovate their portfolio to create a beautiful experience for their customers, and every day the restaurant has to give a food security order.

He said every morning they cook their chicken, beef or fish, and test internal temperature and quality. They do not sell any product until it has reached internal temperature. If it hasn’t, they throw the product away and try again. They, therefore, train their staff to master that, so they cannot waste any products. 

So, most of the time I ask myself why McDonald’s orders take quite a long time to arrive. I finally got my answer – there was no designated person at one of the positions where your order items is supposed to be taken because it’s not one person doing your burger, fries and drink. These must all work in sync for you to get your order in time. 

To ensure that people get their orders fast, they have made their machines to be laid according to the fast selling to lowest selling items.
Asked about what McDonald’s is doing to support local communities that produce their ingredients, Maharaj said they are always looking for locals to supply them with fresh produce, because they want to create local employment, but the standards they are looking for, are high.

“To make an example, it took McCain two years to get to the certain level of potato and the veggie patty that we wanted. About 70% of our products are locally produced. We always want to make sure we are responsible for giving customers the best quality of stuff. We have scouts that go out to different farms in the Vaal, and around the country to look for good lettuce, tomatoes, etc,” he said. 
I was well-informed about things that I always had questions about, with regard to how their food is sourced and how they are trying to fix their service issue. 

While I will probably still use UberEats to get my fix of McD’s, it’s still positive that they have realised they have a service issue, hence introducing the “Experience of the Future” which is a self-service portal. 

I tried it recently and it worked. You can either use a card or print out the receipt and pay at the cashier. There’s a dedicated person for the self-service. And the wait for my food? It wasn’t too long. Maybe it’s time I going back for sit-ins again.

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