Pulling ahead in the drive-thru to wait a few more minutes for your food while workers tend to the build-up of cars behind you is pretty well the norm nowadays. As customers become more impatient, McDonald's is searching for ways to make its fast food, well, faster. The chain is testing a food conveyer belt at the drive-thru of a restaurant in Fort Worth. The restaurant also includes a pickup room for delivery workers and a shelf for customers to pick up pre-placed takeout orders. What it doesn't have is a dining room.
.@McDonalds is opening a new unit near Fort Worth, Texas to test drive-thru and off-premise innovation. The unit features an order-ahead drive-thru lane, complete with a food and beverage conveyor belt.https://t.co/Hm0mMbU9PY— Restaurant Dive (@RestaurantDive) December 2, 2022
“As our customers’ needs continue to change, we are committed to finding new ways to serve them faster and easier than ever before,” McDonald's senior director of global design and restaurant development, Max Carmona, said in a release.
The test location is smaller than a standard Mickey D's, and it's geared toward takeout. Customers can venture inside to place orders using kiosks or, if they placed their order ahead of time, find their food waiting on a shelf. Outside, the restaurant has a lane dedicated to traditional drive-thru customers, along with one for patrons who order ahead. Instead of a worker handing you your meal at the drive-thru, you grab your food and drinks from a conveyer belt through the window. There are also dedicated parking spots for curbside orders and delivery drivers.
The Golden Arches is just the latest fast-food chain to launch this kind of experiment. Taco Bell unveiled a concept restaurant in Minnesota back in June with four drive-thru lanes and no indoor dining room, and Burger King also implemented three drive-thru lanes in a test location, along with burger pickup lockers.