McDonald’s is in plans to strengthen the partnership it has struck with Uber Technologies where the ride-hailing firm offers a delivery services to customers of the fast food retailer. This follows results which show that a delivery test that was being carried out had proved successful.

“We’re encouraged about the start we’ve had. We are not in test mode, we are expanding,” said Steve Easterbrook, the chief executive officer of McDonald’s, in a conference call with investors and analysts.

More cities

Testing of the delivery service offered via the UberEats app has been taking place since late last year in around 200 McDonald’s restaurants located in Florida. The delivery service will now be offered in more cities in the United States by mid this year.

According to Easterbrook, it will be a slow expansion at first before more resources are allocated to marketing and promotional activities. This will come after the fast food giant has gained more insight and experience with regards to operations, packaging and order capturing.

Natural sales channel

Currently, a significant portion of the food that McDonald’s sells is consumed outside the confines of its restaurants and home delivery is therefore an organic sales channel for the company. According to company statistics, about 70% of sales generated in the United States are via the drive-thru. The figure is even higher in urban areas where a higher number of customers consume their McDonald’s food outside the company’s restaurants.

With the UberEats delivery service, customers are able to order food from McDonalds and pay via their mobile devices. The closest restaurant of the Oak Brook-based food chain then prepares and packages the order for delivery. Drivers contracted by Uber then transport the order. Each delivery is charged $4.99 and this is a cost that the customer has to bear.

Digital strategy

Another area that McDonald’s is focusing more on is mobile ordering and paying which is expected to be rolled out nationwide. In that regard the company is currently testing out the technology in over 400 restaurants in the United States.

Besides the home delivery services, McDonald’s is also embarking on an exercise to overhaul its restaurants with a view to driving foot traffic to restaurants and consequently more sales. McDonald’s is also making menu changes. This will see the addition of fruit-flavored slushies as well as the unveiling of upscale sandwiches throughout the United States. With the new sandwiches, customers will have the choice of three recipes and this includes maple bacon Dijon, sweet barbecued bacon and pico guacamole.

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