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 McDonald’s is saying goodbye to self-serve soda

McDonald’s is saying goodbye to self-serve soda in the coming years

Don’t bother refilling that Coke anymore. Self-serve soda will no longer be available at McDonald’s.

This Monday, McDonald’s revealed that the Chicago-based fast food business intends to get rid of self-service beverage dispensers from its U.S. eateries by 2032. It’s unknown if locations outside the United States will adopt a similar policy.

McDonald’s USA stated in an email to The Associated Press on Tuesday that the aim of the shift is to promote consistency for patrons and staff members throughout the range of services offered by the restaurant, from in-store dining to online delivery and drive-thru alternatives.

The business didn’t say whether any other aspects, including money or cleanliness, had anything to do with the decision to stop using its self-serve machines. Customers of McDonald’s have been filling and refilling their beverages using the machines for years without making additional trips to the cashier.

Other fast food restaurants already have behind-the-counter beverage dispensers, and a few McDonald’s restaurants across the nation have started the move as well. The State Journal-Register, which broke the news of the company’s plans for the first time last week, claims that a number of sites in Illinois, for instance, are beginning to phase out self-service soda.

Since the COVID-19 epidemic, analysts have also noted changes in customer behavior, including an increase in fast food establishments’ digital and online delivery sales. As a response, some restaurants have experimented with improving drive-thrus or tightening their ties to food delivery apps, such as Domino’s signing a new deal with Uber Eats and Chipotle expanding its Carside pickup locations.

For the second quarter of 2023, McDonald’s digital sales, which include app, delivery, and kiosk purchases, amounted for about 40% of systemwide sales. The company announced in July that revenue increased 14% to $6.5 billion for the quarter and that net income nearly doubled to $2.3 billion, beating analysts’ estimates.

In the second part of the year, some of these advantages can start to diminish. Ian Borden, the chief financial officer, stated on the Q2 results call in July that when inflation declines, the price increases that have boosted McDonald’s sales in previous quarters will moderate.


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