McDonald's Tests Mobile Ordering In Two Cities

McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) is testing a mobile payment app that allows its customers to order and pay for food and drinks from their mobile phones.

In the McDonald's pilot projects, customers can order using a mobile app and then pick up food inside the restaurants, at curbside or at McDonald's drive-through windows. Mobile ordering will also include special promotions and a loyalty program, according to notes from a June meeting of McDonald's franchisees and company executives obtained by Bloomberg.

"While many competitors are publicizing their efforts to get an initial foothold in the mobile arena, no one has developed a comprehensive solution that integrates all the opportunities this technology presents," Bloomberg reported that the notes said.

The McDonald's test is currently limited to Salt Lake City and Austin, and the chain has not confirmed that it plans to take mobile ordering nationwide. If it does, McDonald's has plenty of ground to make up. Rival Burger King (NYSE:BKC) is not only taking orders via mobile app but also doing home and office delivery in more than a dozen cities.

"You have to look at the whole generation that is coming up and I think we're moving to a cashless society," Bob Goldin, of food service consulting firm Technomic, told Bloomberg.

McDonald's is latching onto technology that has become more prevalent even beyond the fast-food industry over the past year. Along with most large pizza chains, Chipotle (NYSE:CMG) and other U.S. fast-casual chains have rolled out or are testing mobile payment options.

For more:

- See this Bloomberg story

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