Starbucks does it. So does Domino's. It's about time the Golden Arches joined in, too. Eater reports that McDonald's is working to integrate mobile ordering before the end of the year. That means late-night Chicken McNugget cravings and McGriddles at lunch are only a few taps away.
McDonald's is already hard at work on the system, which it hopes to have up and running in all of its more than 14,000 U.S. locations this year. While it's not a new concept by any means, McDonald's scale is what's setting it apart.
Many of its fast-food competitors already have mobile ordering available: Wendy's plans on rolling out mobile ordering this year, too, but the service will only be available in about half of its stores; Arby's and Burger King are also working on adding mobile ordering, but there's no timeline for those restaurants just yet. And Taco Bell rolled the service out regionally, but it's now nationwide.
McDonald's may be looking to Starbucks, which seems to be the gold standard for mobile-ordering apps, as a model. According to Eater, the coffee chain boasts 20% of its total orders as coming from mobile devices. However, the site notes that it takes more time to craft a custom Frappuccino than to assemble a burger, so fans may not flock to McDonald's order-on-the-fly app the way they do to Starbucks' service. Plus, there's always the option of the drive-thru, which is pretty speedy by design.
Eater adds that mobile apps aren't just convenient; they're more accurate, too. When customers input their own changes, like extra pickles or no mayo, they're usually happier with the result — and cashiers make fewer mistakes. Plus, customers using mobile ordering are more likely to add to their orders, so when McDonald's does debut the app, you may add fries with your Quarter Pounder without even thinking about it.