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McDonald's brings mobile ordering to the UK

Be warned: restaurants will only start prepping your food when you arrive.
Matt Brian, @m4tt
March 17, 2017
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Mobile ordering is big in the UK, so it's surprising to see a big name like McDonald's is only now getting its own systems in order. As BuzzFeed News reports, it today pushed live a new feature in its iOS and Android apps that lets customers in selected locations order and pay for their meal before they go in store. The confirmation comes just days after the company enabled a similar feature in the US.

The process is pretty simple. Once the app is installed and one of the 22 supporting restaurants has been selected, customers can press the new "Ordering" tab to immediately begin building their order. Items can be favourited, saving time in the future, and payment details can also be stored in the app. Once the order is complete, customers must then head to the restaurant and confirm their order by scanning a QR code at a designated "Mobile Order Check In Point."

Unlike Starbucks' Mobile Order & Pay, which prepares orders ahead of a customer's arrival, McDonald's will only start making the food once the QR code has been scanned, presumably to ensure things stay fresh. Some stores will offer table service, but most people will need to collect the order from the counter.

While only a small number of stores are on board right now, McDonald's says it will roll mobile ordering out to all of its restaurants within the next 18 months. It hopes the large majority of them will go live before the end of the year.

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