Fast Food Ordering Gets Faster in Boston

Fast Food Getting Faster
NBC Boston

Big changes are coming to the way you order your fast food Boston and around the country.

When you walk into the McDonald’s on the Lynnway in Lynn, Massachusetts, the first thing you notice is there isn’t a person behind the counter smiling and saying, "Welcome to McDonald’s may I take your order?'

The fast food franchise now offers kiosk service where customers place their order on a touchscreen, kind of like a "super-sized" iPad.

"We’re making it easier for customers to order their meal on their own terms,"said a McDonald’s spokesperson. “For customers looking to order at their own pace, our new digital self-order kiosks make ordering and paying for a meal easy. Kiosks empower guests to browse the menu, find new options and tailor their meal just the way they want.”

The kiosks only take credit or debit cards, but cash paying customers can be accommodated at the counter by an employee. McDonald’s has thousands of restaurants with the touchscreen order takers now and by 2020 the fast food giant plans to put kiosks in almost all of its 14,000 stores in the U.S.

"We are taking positive steps to improve our customers’ experience when they dine with us by offering new levels of choice, engagement and service," said the McDonald’s spokesperson.

Canton-based Dunkin Donuts has plans to go digital at a location in Boston and one in Quincy as part of revamping menus and redesigning stores in 2018.

“We anticipate select locations in 2018 will feature ordering kiosks that will allow guests to order with or without the help of a crew member, enabling guests to run on Dunkin' faster and more conveniently,” said Lindsay Cronin, Senior Manager of Public Relations for Dunkin' Brands.

America’s largest fast food chain Subway is also making the move towards touchscreens. The Subway in Littleton, Massaschusetts, is the only restaurant in the Boston area using kiosks now, but they will become the norm in the majority of 24,000 Subway restaurants in the future.

"Guests like the convenience and ability to easily order, customize and pay for their meals without waiting in line,"  said a Subway spokesperson. "The sandwich line and the interaction with Sandwich Artists will always be part of our model; however, the kiosks do create some efficiency for employees as well. Sandwich Artists are able to make meals faster."

As part of a new design called "Subway Fresh Forward" the sandwich maker also plans to offer mobile ordering, pre-order pickup, Apple/Samsung Pay and delivery.

McDonald’s is already offering delivery by partnering with UberEats. Customers can have their McFries, McShakes or almost any other menu item delivered for an additional fee.

"We’re putting more choice and control in the hands of our customers—evolving how they order, what they order, how they pay and how they are served," said the McDonald’s spokesperson.

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