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McDonald’s is pinning its expansion planet-wide going forward largely on the many ways it can deliver food to its customers, whether they be seated in stores, waiting in cars outside or calling in for a lunch at the office. And, the mammoth chain plans to make that all  happen in the U.S. first, by the end of this year, through a vastly enhanced technology upgrade that includes kiosks, mobile apps, data use and lots of delivery.

Of course, the bottom line in all of the efforts that announced at its Investors Day Wednesday is increasing the happiness and financial faithfulness of customers and shareholders, according to a news release.

Here are what McDonald’s leadership says will be the five-pronged focus of its global expansion going forward:
•    Customer experience enhancement through vastly improved technology.
•    Implementation of a new delivery-centric model.
•    Accelerated U.S. deployment of Experience of the Future restaurants.
•    Initiation of new three-year shareholder cash return target.
•    Establishment of new sales, operating margin, EPS and return on incremental invested capital financial targets.

“We have fundamentally changed the trajectory of our business over the past two years,” President and CEO Steve Easterbrook said in a news release. “Now, we are fit for purpose, ready to build on our momentum and transition to focus our efforts on profitable, long-term growth.

“We are building a better McDonald’s, one that makes delicious, feel-good moments easy for everyone, and I believe the moves we are making will reassert McDonald’s as the global leader in the informal eating-out category.”

Central to achieving those goals is, of course, is drawing in “more customers, more often,” said Easterbrook. The chain intends to do that through new initiatives to retain current customers, regain those who’ve gone away and convert more “casual” customers to committed customers. To achieve those ends, the brand plans to increase its focus on family occasions and breakfast, as well as draw customers away from the competition and put more attention on McCafe coffee and snacks.

But, technology is really the end-all and be-all off this expansion plan, and specifically tech that drives a shift from drive-thru to curbside delivery at all 20,000 U.S. locations by the end of this year, according to the release. To do that McDonald’s is putting its digital capability and technology improvements on fast-forward, including:.

•    Kiosk, app and delivery-centric experience in restaurants, including disappearance of front counter and emergence of kiosk, app and mobile ordering for table delivery or pickup.
•    Shift from drive-thru to delivery outside restaurants, reliant on mobile order and pay app for delivery to cars at curbside.

But the chain did not confine its plans for more delivery-centric service to restaurant locations. It also plans to move toward some unspecified type of home/office delivery, as well, echoing the overall foodservice market’s equally strong move in that direction that began early this year, as previously reported on  

Though the chain was not specific in its press materials, it is clear that home delivery is in its future through the following statement from its Wednesday news release:

Because of our extraordinary footprint, McDonald’s is uniquely positioned to become the global leader in delivery. In McDonald’s top five markets (U.S., France, the U.K., Germany and Canada) nearly 75 percent of the population lives within three miles of a McDonald’s. McDonald’s is already one of the largest providers of delivered food in the world, with annual system-wide delivery sales of nearly $1 billion across various markets including China, South Korea and Singapore. China has tripled its delivery business since its launch in 2008. In 2016 alone, China’s delivery business grew 30 percent. … Currently, McDonald’s is experimenting with different delivery models including partnering with third parties for ordering and fulfillment throughout the world.”

For more details on the chain’s plans for restaurant redesign and new financial goals, click here.

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Photo: iStock
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