Foodservice Equipment Reports

McD’s Plans 1,000 Revamps And A Third Drive-Through Window

McDonald’s Corp. has told investors that it plans to spend $3 billion opening as many as 1,600 new restaurants in the next year while revamping 1,000 locations.

Also on deck for new and rebuilt restaurants, the world’s biggest restaurant chain will implement what it calls a Fast Forward Drive-Thru, which will allow customers whose orders aren’t ready to bypass the second window and pull up to a third window to wait. Currently, McD’s customers in cars pull up to one window to pay for their order, then pick up their meal at another window. A third drive-through window just might be the solution to the chain’s recent problems in slow service and slowing sales.

About two-thirds of QSR sales come at drive-through windows, but McDonald’s is reportedly running behind its rivals in speed of service.

McDonald’s USA Pres. Jeff Stratton told investors that “internal challenges” this year included the extended launch of new products and limited-time offers, including Mighty Wings, Fish McBites and McWraps, as well as an updated Dollar Menu.

The “cadence of change” probably slowed service, Stratton said.

Drive-through visits also might be sliding in general, according to data from the NPD Group. In the year that ended in September, there were 47.9 billion total visits to quick-service restaurants, a 1% increase over 2012. In the same period, NPD reports, drive-through visits dropped by 1% percent to 12.3 billion visits.