New Denver-area McDonald’s Doesn’t Even Have Digital Menu Boards, Just Self-Order Kiosks

February 28, 2024 by Dave Haynes

Here’s an interesting counter-argument to the idea that dynamic or even surge pricing increases the relevance and need for digital menu displays in QSR – a QSR giant that’s removed in-store menu displays, relying instead of self-service ordering kiosks.

This is from Craig Keefner, who runs the Kiosk Manufacturer Association and writes all the time about self-service tech.

The new McDonald’s is finally open here in Thornton (Denver area, where Keefner lives) and seeing McDonald’s Kiosk designs is one of my responsibilities. I have an older McDonald’s down the street, but the new one is right next to my golf course. Turns out the new iteration eliminates the usual order counter and menuboards.  All ordering is done at the kiosk.

Ordering at the kiosk allows for much greater customization.  I always order my fries with NO SALT e.g. My wife likes an extra pickle. Very difficult to custom order at the counter.  This gets back to which method is truly more personal — Self service ordering or someone at the counter taking your order?  Fact is ordering via machine allows you to customize to your personal tastes, unlike the counter. And at McDonalds here they have adopted the Costco self-checkout method and provide a real person advising you and assisting you.

Seems more personal to me …

What We Learned and Confirmed

So at the same time as we have lots of discussion about dynamic pricing and how digital is really the only feasible way to manage that on menus, we have one of the biggest QSRs in the world switching to kiosks and taking indoor digital menus out of the mix. Drive-thru displays are still needed, but as AI-driven voice ordering emerges and evolves, those screens are going to effectively be voice-driven kiosks, as well.

  1. craig keefner says:

    Thanks Dave. There is one internal digital signage display (55″ pedestal near restrooms). And the drive thrus are totally digital though it remains to be seen how the Coates/Samsungs hold up to the intense high altitude sun. Their track record is not exemplary for sure.

  2. Wes Dixon says:

    Kiosk ordering only? Do I remember that during COVID someone did a test on these and found fecal material on EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.?

    And Dave, pull out that picture I sent two years ago of ‘my McDonalds’ Drive thru displays…( the ones not working)… they are STILL out…after two years…

    1. Craig says:

      Wes, that article the guardian did back then was outlier article hunting eyeballs and poorly documented. Pretty good clickbait though. See my technical review article to on oh55s. And I think the MRI suit is ongoing

Leave a comment