New McDonald’s in Texas Has Conveyor Belts & Two Drive Thru Pickup Lanes
The new location, run by second-generation McDonald’s franchisee Keith Vanecek, includes two drive-thrus, including one targeted at digital order customers called the Order Ahead lane. The Order Ahead lane utilizes a rotating vertical lift that brings the order from above and drops it onto a conveyor belt. From there, the conveyor belt shuttles the order to the customer, who picks it up through the window.
While it’s a bit reminiscent of the Taco Bell ‘dumbwaiter’ delivery chute unveiled earlier this year, it looks like the McDonald’s Order Ahead pickup is more akin to a second bank-teller window in that the customers’ order is sent across to the customer, and not -as is the case with the Taco Bell concept – put into the delivery chute from overhead by an employee working on the second level.
Whatever the mechanics, Micky D’s Order Ahead window is yet another signal that the big QSRs are beginning to embrace designs with multiple pickup points at a single location to avoid the order logjam that comes with a typical drive-thru design that zippers multiple order lanes into a single pickup lane.
Inside the store, in addition to kiosks, there’s a mobile order pickup shelving installation where customers can take and go their orders.
The new concept is another example of how QSRs are continuing to rethink the design of their locations as a larger share of their business goes through delivery and app-generated delivery. While this is the only McDonald’s location with these innovation concepts, the company has made it clear they plan to roll out ideas that they determine could benefit customers in other locations as part of their ‘Accelerate the Arches’ growth strategy.