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McDonald’s in major touchscreen rollout for customer orders

Fast food outlet wants to transform sales process

McDonald's has planned a major touchscreen terminal rollout, with hopes of changing the way customers order their meals.

The burger chain intends to reduce the number of cashiers working at its outlets and the amount of banknotes and coins it has to handle, and plans to make the changes across its 7,000 outlets in Europe.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Steve Easterbrook, president of McDonald's Europe, said modernisation was important because "ordering food has not changed for 30 or 40 years."

Easterbrook said the new technology would also allow McDonald's to collect more information about customers' ordering habits, and improve efficiency, with average transactions an estimated three to four seconds shorter for each customer.

At McDonald's 1,200 UK outlets, customers will soon also be able to use swipe Visa debit card facilities to pay for meals, in the same way London commuters can use Oyster travel cards.

Easterbrook told the FT he didn't expect an overall reduced headcount at the company as a result of the new payment and ordering technology, as the company expected to increase the number of its outlets across Europe.

McDonald's hasn't said where it will source its new ordering and payment terminals from. At the moment, many of its outlets use technology from Torex, which is also used by Dixons and Cafe Rouge.

Last December it was reported that McDonald's was working with law enforcement authorities after malicious hackers broke into another company's databases and stole information about an undetermined number of the fast food chain's customers. McDonald's alerted potentially affected customers via email and through a message on its website.

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