Foodservice Equipment Reports

McDonald’s Rolling Out New Look

It will take four years and at least $1 billion, but McDonald's Corp. is revamping the look—and some of the foodservice equipment—in its 14,000 U.S. outlets.

The chain previewed its planned changes to select media and investment analysts. A newly remodeled store in Tampa will set the tone for the rest of the nation. After updating 280 stores in various markets last year, McDonald's will use the Tampa template to revamp 800 locations this year.

Among the updates reported are many aimed at speeding up drive-through and production times:

  • Dual drive-through lanes with digital cameras take photos of each car. Orders appear onscreen superimposed over a photo of that car to keep orders straight.
  • Equipment includes an improved contact toaster that cuts bun toasting to 17 seconds from 22.
  • An automatic drink machine—connected to the drive-through ordering system—selects cup size and fills it with ice and beverage, then rotates the cup to the server at the pickup window.
  • Frying oil will be delivered by tanker truck, rather than stored in boxes, and fed through ceiling tubes to fryers.
  • Sandwich prep lines will feature eye-level racks of toppings, sauces held in large dispensing guns rather than small bottles, and sandwich boxes facing outward and labeled.
  • The front of the house will shift from shiny fiberglass to wood and faux leather; the dining area is divided into separate eating zones for larger groups, eat-and-run customers, and lounging areas.
  • From the outside, the famed Golden Arches will be newly distinctive with a slimmed down arch. Newly flattened roofs will have a semi-swoosh—or what the chain is calling the yellow "brow."

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