Fastfood giant McDonald's will stop its self-serve beverage stations by 2032, according to this report.
Yes, apparently that decision to gradually phase out the drink stations has been made by McDonald's Corporate to create a consistent experience for both customers and crew across all ordering points, whether that’s McDelivery, the app, kiosk, drive-thru, or in-restaurant. The move is also intended to minimize human contact and ensure hygiene in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The slow rollout means dine-in customers can still expect to top off their own soft drinks at most locations for now. However, a handful of local McDonald’s have already begun the transition.
Some McDonald’s branches recently took the first baby step by having crew members fill dine-in customers’ initial soft drink order, which is delivered to the table along with the meal. Customers can then get their own refills. Customers who place take-out orders at the counter will continue to get an empty cup to be filled at the self-serve drink station.
This recent McDonald's decision appears to be part of a broader trend in the fast-food industry toward different business models such as takeout-only restaurants, seatless restaurants, or digital-only restaurants.
The move has already been met with mixed reactions from customers and staff alike. While some have welcomed it as a necessary step towards ensuring hygiene and minimizing human contact, others have expressed disappointment at losing a feature that they have grown accustomed to over the years.
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