In McDonald's top five markets (U.S., France, the U.K., Germany and Canada) almost 75% of the population lives within three miles of a McDonald's.
McDonald's (MCD) said the mobile order and pay option will be launched at 20,000 restaurants in the USA and overseas this year. McDonald's China has tripled its delivery business since launching it in 2008, and a year ago alone, its delivery business in China grew by 30%.
The world's biggest burger chain said Wednesday during its investor day in Chicago that much of that business was lost after it did away with its Dollar Menu.
The chain is also continuing the roll-out of its "experience of the future, " eateries that allow customers to order and pay for sandwiches, fries and other purchases at kiosks, rather than a counter, and then have the food delivered to their tables.
The chain will be the latest to opt in for the increasingly popular ordering apps that are used by Starbucks, Chik-fil-A, Taco Bell and Chipotle among others.
Easterbrook said its multi-fronted approach will retain existing customers, lure back customers lost to QSR competitors, catch up with ever-increasing customer expectations, result in "meaningful improvements in quality, convenience and value" and, ultimately, bring back past customers and convert casual customers to committed McDonald's enthusiasts. McDonald's will also finally introduce delivery, giving in to a long held demand from patrons who have drifted to rivals in recent years.
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McDonald's said the deliveries business is already a $100 billion industry.
"Currently, McDonald's is experimenting with different delivery models including partnering with third parties for ordering and fulfillment throughout the world", the company said.
The chain rolled out delivery services in China in 2008, and delivery sales have since tripled.
That renaissance had been spurred by the launch of All-Day Breakfast, putting pressure on McDonald's to show it had more than one move it could use.
On the road, customers will be able to order through the app and get curbside delivery. The market responded favorably when trading resumed at 12:23 pm, with shares opening higher at $129.45.
The goal is "progress over perfection", said Sappington, who added that McDonald's will also debut "mobile order and pay" in about 6,000 worldwide locations by year-end as it works to add a loyalty program and customization.