American fast food chain, McDonald’s has rolled out a campaign to rest it new digital coffee kiosks that allow customers to serve the beverage themselves. McDonald has already placed the self-serve digital dispenser in downtown Chicago. The digital kiosks feature an ordering system accessible via a touch-screen. This makes the devices attractive to any person who wants to grab a quick cup of coffee without having to wait in the queue for it.
The digital kiosks offer different options including mochas, lattes and cappuccinos that can be customized using different kinds of milk, flavorings, and espresso amounts.
The kiosks seem not to offer options for drip or regular coffee but general prices for each drink start at $2.99.
The digital coffee dispensers are very similar to the smaller version of the ‘Create Your Taste’ dispensers that McDonald’s launched in some select areas last year. The digital ordering systems are under testing in different ways in restaurants throughout the country. With this shift to automation of customer service, it is easy to imagine what the future will look like where customers place orders via touch screens or tablets. These changes are most likely spurred by the increasing demands for minimum wage rise. However, the piloting of digital coffee dispensers is also being seen as a move to strengthen McDonald’s McCafe brand within the U.S. market.
McDonald’s has been aiming at entering the luxury coffee market since 2006 when it launched what it termed as premium coffee drinks. Back then, business analysts termed the move as an effort to duplicate Starbucks’ success in caffeine juggernaut. McDonald’s coffee sales eventually exceeded expectations but did not necessarily reduce the earnings of Starbucks. McDonald’s was targeting customers who value price and not the origin of beans or milk substitutes and drinks dispatched from the counter. McDonald’s move to do away with the barista is therefore not surprising particularly because the fast food chain’s coffee drinks are dispensed from a machine.
While it is still early to determine when McDonald’s self-serve coffee dispensers will be successful in the long run, it is certain that the company is seeing the coffee business as a strategic area of growth. The company got into a deal with Kraft Foods Group last year to expand its McCafe brand. There was no response from McDonald’s about the new digital coffee dispensers. The possibility of such digital coffee kiosks popping up in McDonald’s joints or other strategic locations across the country remains a mystery that only time will unveil.
Still home coffee maker sales are increasing as coffee lovers want their coffee at home from lowest price they can with such a wide range coffee machines.