McDonald’s to eliminate self-service soda stations | The USA Print

McDonald's to eliminate self-service soda stations | The USA Print

The fast food chain McDonald’s plans to remove self-service soda stations from its restaurants in the United States.

The changes will be rolled out progressively across all restaurants and will affect how customers get their refreshments.

The reasons for the change are based on franchise owners citing problems with hygiene, theft and consumer eating habits, according to The State Journal-Register of Illinois.

The removal of self-serve soda stations will not affect refills for customers, McDonald’s franchise owners said.

Refills will remain free even after the machines are phased out by 2032, they said.

Kim Derringer, who operates three McDonald’s franchises in Springfield, Illinois, told The State-Journal Register that “free refills are a big draw for people.”

Illinois franchisees have already taken steps to eliminate soda fountains, so team members serve customers’ orders by bringing food and soda directly to the dining room table.

Brad Davis, owner of the McDonald’s franchise in Springfield, Illinois, told The State-Journal Register that his restaurant stopped giving customers empty cups starting in early 2023.

Davis said his franchise on South Sixth Street was selected by corporate headquarters to be a test case. “It was an adjustment for customers and staff,” Davis said.

Changes in several restaurants

McDonald's to eliminate self-service soda stations | The USA Print
McDonald’s is the leader in the fast food sector followed by Starbucks
Credit: Shutterstock

The fast food chain aims to transition to an automated system that serves drinks without the need for customers to press a button.

The franchise owners explained that this measure will also eliminate theft and give diners the feeling of being in a restaurant by having someone bring them their food and drinks.

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According to data revealed by the fast food chain due to the effects of the pandemic, the flow of customers in restaurants has decreased, as McDonald’s customers dine less frequently in restaurants, use the application more to order food or from the drive-thru or come in, pick up and then eat off-site.

Recently, McDonald’s announced that it has a plan to open smaller restaurants in light of low visitation.

To achieve this goal, the company’s CEO, Chris Kempczinsk explained that next year they aim to implement a new restaurant model, called CosMc’s.

“CosMc’s is a small format concept with all the DNA of McDonald’s, but with its own unique personality.”

McDonald’s is a fast food giant with a presence in more than 100 countries and with nearly 40,000 restaurants that now offer home delivery service.

In the United States alone, sales increased by 10.3% in the first quarter of 2023.

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