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Trending this week: Why McDonald’s is phasing out its self-serve drink machines

This week on Nation's Restaurant News the top story was Menu Tracker: New items from Arby’s, KFC, and Taco Bell. Plus innovation at Another Broken Egg, Bar Louie, Bojangles, Bruster’s Real Ice Cream, Burgerville, Capital Tacos, Charleys Cheesesteaks, Cold Stone Creamery, Cousins Subs, Cowboy Chicken and more. 

In other news, you may have heard the news that McDonald’s is planning to phase out its self-serve beverage stations by 2032, so now the question now becomes “why?” Simply put, the transition is being made to allow for more consistency as customers order through more channels, as was first reported by The State Journal-Register. The publication quoted Illinois operator Mikel Petro as saying, “It’s an evolution towards convenience and the growth of digital service.” The restaurants that have begun phasing out the machines are relying on staff to prefill drinks and deliver them to customers at their tables, creating a more hospitable environment, the publication reports. Employees are also pre-filling drinks for digital orders.  

Also, as Chick-fil-A continues to expand, the company is looking at a more targeted format strategy. That strategy apparently includes more mobile order pickup lanes. The company announced in a blog post that it plans to add its “Mobile Thru” order pickup lanes to over 300 restaurants nationwide by the end of this year.

If available, customers select “Mobile Thru” as their pickup destination and then place their order. Once they arrive at the restaurant, they follow signs to the dedicated Mobile Thru lane, use their app to scan a QR code and then pull around to receive their order.

See what else was trending on this week. 

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