The opening of the Larne restaurant comes as the brand announces an investment of over £250 million over the next four years in a programme to redesign some of its restaurant estate.
With consumers increasingly looking for greater speed, efficiency and choice in how they order their food, the ambitious ‘Convenience of the Future’ upgrade programme will see McDonald’s UK & I shake up the way its restaurants operate to reflect the increasingly diverse ways that customers can order and keep pace with customer expectations today and tomorrow.
In 2022 McDonald’s will introduce Convenience of the Future in 200 restaurants, including Larne and a second Northern Ireland restaurant later this year, with 800 conversions planned over the next four years. The Convenience of the Future platform will continue to evolve and introduce new innovations depending on the customer need and the restaurant format.
While the traditional walk-in and Drive-Thru remain core to how customers order, the redesign of McDonald’s kitchens and dining areas will better integrate digital sales channels, MyMcDonald’s App, and make smarter use of space. Reflecting the rise in delivery, which marks its five-year anniversary this June, a separate delivery courier collection area is also being introduced.
With approximately 50% of sales now going through digital channels, including McDelivery, mobile, and self-order screens, the restaurant revamp will also provide restaurant teams with the technology, equipment, and space to work together more effectively and better manage more complex or personalised orders.
Positive impacts are already being seen with increased customer satisfaction in restaurants where delivery is particularly popular and in Drive-Thrus. Restaurant teams are also responding positively to the new working environment, and have seen a meaningful increase in sales in the first restaurants to be reimaged, demonstrating the impact that this investment will have.
The Larne restaurant includes many of the key innovations that McDonald’s will roll out across its estate as part of its Convenience of the Future programme, including:
Dedicated courier waiting area and entrance: will allow crew to better accommodate courier needs, alongside reducing congestion in the dining to create a more relaxing restaurant environment for customers.
New kitchen design: a bigger order assembly area, and dedicated areas to prepare McDelivery and dine in orders, will help crew serve more quickly, efficiently, and accurately than ever before.
Improved car park layout: will create a separate parking area for couriers and modified traffic routes will improve circulation around the restaurant so it’s much easier for Drive-Thru and Click & Collect customers to get their order.
Improve break spaces: redesigned crew rooms will create a more relaxing and comfortable space for crew to take a well-deserved break.
Paddy Cusack, Franchisee of the new McDonald’s Larne restaurant, said: “We are excited to be opening McDonald’s newest restaurant today in Larne, marking the first Convenience of the Future restaurant in Northern Ireland.
“The benefits realised through our investment in Convenience of the Future are two-fold. Firstly, it will deliver a quicker, more seamless and more convenient experience for our customers, delivery partners and crew. And, secondly, it paves the way for further innovation in the future as we continue to respond to the evolving needs and preferences of our customers in terms of how they order and collect their food.”
Convenience of the Future will also incorporate learnings and innovations from McDonald’s first net-zero carbon emission restaurant in Market Drayton, as the business works towards its target of achieving net zero emissions across all its restaurants and offices by 2030. Some of the successful innovations being rolled out include LED lighting and wall graphics made from recycled coffee cups; recyclable floor and wall tiles; and furniture which is made from fully recycled materials and that is itself fully recyclable.
Andy Duncan, Franchisee Supervisor, McDonald’s Larne & Antrim; Neil McManus, Antrim GAA; Gemma Caldwell, Business Manager, McDonald’s Larne; Paddy Cusack, Franchisee, McDonald’s Larne & Antrim; Rory Best, former Ireland & Ulster Rugby.