McDonald’s Testing a Drive Thru Conveyor Belt and Other Order Innovation

“There’s never been a McDonald’s restaurant quite like this before,” according to the company when talking about the new McDonald’s test restaurant located outside Fort Worth, Texas.

So what makes this outlet so unique compared to the tens of thousands around the world? It has what McDonald’s calls the Order Ahead Lane. This is a separate drive-through lane that lets customers get their orders via a food and beverage conveyor. By placing their order ahead of arrival, the new feature means customers can skip the traditional drive-thru lane and receive their order more quickly and conveniently.

The test restaurant is also smaller than traditional McDonald’s restaurants in the US. This is because it is designed mostly for customers that are on the go and dining elsewhere.

mcDonald's testing a drive thru conveyor belt

The restaurant is also designed with delivery couriers in mind. Orders are retrieved quickly for couriers via a delivery pick-up room. Customers can place their orders to go in kiosks. There are also several parking spaces dedicated to curb-side pickup and additional ones for delivery drivers. Using enhanced technology, the restaurant team can begin preparing orders when a customer gets closer to the restaurant.

Speaking about the innovations at the test restaurant, Max Carmona, Senior Director, Global Design & Restaurant Development, McDonald’s, said:

“At McDonald’s, we’ve been setting the standard for Drive-Thrus for more than 45 years. As our customers’ needs continue to change, we are committed to finding new ways to serve them faster and easier than ever before.”

The test restaurant in Texas is intended to streamline the experience for both customers and employees via the McDonald’s updated app, the food and beverage conveyor, and the new kitchen format.

The new restaurant concept is part of McDonald’s ‘Accelerating the Arches’ growth strategy. The strategy looks for ways to improve the customer experience at the fast-food chain. The new ideas and innovations being tested at the McDonald’s could potentially be used to benefit restaurant teams and customers around the world.

Image: Depositphotos

Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 7 years. She is based in the United Kingdom and since 2006, Gabrielle has been writing articles, blogs and news pieces for a diverse range of publications and sites. You can read "Gabrielle’s blog here.".