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McDonald's to launch ordering app, expand delivery

05 March 2017

"We're not the same McDonald's we were two years ago or even six months ago", said McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook of the chain's refocus on its regular customers.

In the restaurant chain's largest markets - the U.S., France, the U.K., Germany and Canada - nearly 75 percent of the population lives near a McDonald's.

McDonald's Corp.'s acknowledged on Wednesday that it lost 500 million customer transactions in the United States since 2012 and laid out its plans to get more people back into its restaurants - including by letting them order and pay on their mobile phones by the end of the year.

McDonald's had 14,000 locations in the United States, including 311 in New Jersey as of late a year ago. McDonald's will offer table service to some customers who order digitally.

The company's USA restaurants have suffered four straight years of traffic declines, resulting in 500 million lost transactions since 2012. McDonald's will also finally introduce delivery, giving in to a long held demand from patrons who have drifted to rivals in recent years.

More than 3,500 McDonald's restaurants, primarily in Asia and the Mid-East, offer delivery. Starbucks and other major fast-food chains don't use it, which means customers using those company's apps have to rely on estimates provided by the technology to properly time an order.

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McDonald's outlined its plans after having recorded its fourth straight year of declining guest counts at established US locations in 2016, despite the fanfare over the roll-out of an all-day breakfast menu.

"No other food company in the world has this reach and ability to be this convenient to so many customers through delivery", the release read, adding that it is now experimenting with different delivery models including third-party providers for ordering and fulfillment across the globe.

McDonald's already delivers in countries such as China, South Korea, and Singapore, and they see some countries around Europe as unexploited markets.

Trading of the company's stock had been halted earlier Wednesday as the company prepared to share its growth plans and "nonpublic information".

Seeking to offer a more convenient and enjoyable in-store visit, McDonald's Experience of the Future restaurant concepts that are already in several worldwide markets will expand to approximately 2,500 US locations by the end of 2017.