McDonald's testing delivery

by Monica Watrous
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McDonald’s full menu, except ice cream cones, will be available for delivery during the normal operating hours of participating restaurants.

NEW YORK — The latest restaurant chain to announce a delivery initiative is McDonald’s, which is testing the service in New York City through a partnership with Postmates, a direct-to-consumer delivery service. Customers in select boroughs may order a Big Mac and fries through Postmates.com or the Postmates mobile app for delivery within an hour. The test includes 88 restaurants in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn.

McDonald’s full menu, except ice cream cones, will be available for delivery during the normal operating hours of participating restaurants, with some offering delivery 24 hours a day. Customers will be charged a delivery fee that is calculated based on the distance traveled by the courier.

“This is a city where delivery is a way of life,” said Mwaffak Kanjee, vice-president, general manager of the McDonald’s New York Metro region. “We are excited to launch this test so our customers can get hot, freshly prepared food right from McDonald’s kitchens, when and where they want it.”

Other restaurant chains have recently announced plans to test or launch delivery. Chipotle Mexican Grill has begun offering the service in more than 60 cities using the Postmates delivery app, and Taco Bell revealed plans to test delivery within the year. Starbucks Corp. also is planning food and beverage delivery in select markets later this year. Additionally, Panera Bread has been testing delivery for more than a year and is currently operating in two markets with its own drivers and in another two with outsourced drivers. The bakery-cafe chain said it will expand the test to additional markets this year and may decide on a broader roll-out in 2016.

McDonald’s rival Burger King began testing its BK Delivers initiative in 2012 and has since expanded the service to markets across the country, including Washington, D.C., San Francisco Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis and Miami. Delivery is available in the markets for a minimum food order of $10, and customers may choose from various established menu items as well as new limited-time menu items. Orders must be placed within designated hours, which vary by location. To avoid serving wilted Whoppers and warm milkshakes, Burger King developed special packaging for delivery.

Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald’s delivery initiative is one of several concepts the chain is testing to revive its struggling business. Also under way are tests of a build-your-own burger platform, as well as a more simplified, drive-thru friendly customization program, and all-day breakfast in select markets.

“Our customers continue to tell us that they want their favorites from McDonald's delivered right to their doorsteps," said Julia Vander Ploeg, vice-president of McDonald's USA Digital. “We’ve listened to their feedback and are excited to launch this initiative.  We look forward to learning from this test and continuing to innovate as we offer our customers everyday conveniences and new ways to experience our brand.”
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