By ZIVELO | April 17, 2018
Updated Apr 12; Posted Apr 12
WYANDOTTE – McDonald’s restaurants in Michigan have been introducing a new ordering platform at Michigan locations that the company calls the “Experience of the Future.”
The fast food chain is installing touch-screen order kiosks front and center at more than 3,800 locations across the country.
Nearly 80 McDonald’s restaurants in Michigan now use the kiosks, including the Wyandotte location at 3421 Biddle Ave. owned by Gary Granader.
It’s part of a change taking place at McDonald’s locations around the country as the company looks to keep up with evolving technology, said Granader, a second-generation franchisor who operates seven McDonald’s in and around Detroit’s downriver suburbs.
“It’s not a different McDonald’s. It’s a better McDonald’s,” Granader said.
The location on Biddle Avenue is his first McDonald’s restaurant to feature the kiosks. Table service and renovations are also part of Granader’s plans to improve customer experience.
Karen Akers, 56, who has been working at Granader’s restaurant for about a year and a half, greets customers as they walk in and offers to help them place their order at the kiosk. About 30 percent of customers usually take her up on the offer, she said.
“At first, I was a disaster,” Akers said, laughing. “Now I zip through it quick.”
She keeps a bundle of straws in her apron to keep track of the number of people she assists with the touch-screen kiosks. Her record was 51.
The kiosks show dietary information and prices for menu options. Customers can use a debit or credit card to pay for their order or use cash at the counter.
“It’s easy to encourage our customers to use (the kiosks) since you can customize what you want,” Granader said.
Another new addition is table service, with McDonald’s employees bringing out the familiar brown trays heaped with burgers, fries and chicken nuggets out to customers who received an order number with their purchase.
Customers can also place orders through UberEats, or the new Mobile Order & Pay app, which will alert the nearby restaurant to start the order using GPS to detect the driver’s location and ensure hot fries and milkshakes that aren’t melted.
The added technology and customer service components have meant some training upgrades, though Granader pointed out most employees are under the age of 35 and take pretty quickly to the technological changes.
It has also meant adding more employees onto lunch and dinner shifts to assist customers with ordering through the kiosks and taking orders out to the dining area, the owner said.
Granader took over operations of the restaurant for his father, Harry, in 1980. He said his father would have welcomed the changes being implemented by McDonald’s.
“Dad was all about satisfying customers so they’ll come back,” Granader said. “It’s still about the customers.”
Granader is now looking into renovations at his other McDonald’s locations, with the company expecting to roll out the kiosks at all Michigan restaurants by early 2020.
“It’s another way we show we care about customers,” Granader said. “We’re only successful because of those residents who come here as customers.”
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*”ZIVELO has provided McDonald’s USA with Self-Order Kiosks since 2015. ZIVELO has been, and continues to be, a good business partner to McDonald’s in our deployment of Self-Order Kiosks in the US.” – McDonald’s USA