Visited on the 9th of December, 2014.
Guest post by partner Anthony Wales.
The new McDonald’s, Create Your Taste menu first started in Castle Hill around September 2014. It has since expanded to Waitara located near Hornsby in the North Shore. I decided to go there for lunch to check out how McDonald’s is trying to distance itself from a fast food outlet in order to be seen as “a little bit fancy” – McDonald’s.
As you enter the restaurant you are greeted alongside the traditional counter with 6 touch screen kiosks. The user interface of the kiosk comes off as modern change from the traditional method of ordering. It provides you with more control over customising your order. As the name ‘Create Your Taste’ suggests, it even encourages you to create your own burger of choice. I will add that you can still order from the standard set menu through these kiosks.
Creating your burger is fairly straight forward, the kiosk guides you through the creation of the burger. Once you have created your burger it will give you the option of sides, then summary, then payment.
Once paid you receive a Table Tracker which you place on the side of the table (which was not explained clearly leading to some confusion for myself and others). This tracker allows for “near table service”, they bring the food to you and assist where possible however you are unable to order more through the assistants. This did give it a more “fancy restaurant” feeling.
On our expedition we deviated from their standard options and created our own. It took about 5 minutes to process the order, another 5-10 to receive the food.
Option 1 ($11.40, Burger Only)
Option 2 ($13.30, Burger Only)
In regards to the taste of the finished product, it was very filling (especially option 2). McDonald’s were able to maintain the typical McDonald’s flavour thanks to the strong patty flavour we are used too. If I could take anything from option 2 it would be don’t get carried away, the extra bacon/patty/sauce/cheese made the burger quite heavy and very oily. Both burgers did however manage to pull off what I would call a gourmet burger not a burger, you would find at a fast food outlet.
Please note that this new system is definitely in it’s teething and testing stage, we did have to place our order multiple times due to the confusion of the interface at points and errors we created. We are partially to blame for creating complicated orders. In between some pages there is sometimes a delay, and it doesn’t state that it’s loading resulting in confusion for us in regards to what’s happening. Also having a horizontal order list makes it very hard to look at all the items as you can only see one at a time (we thought it was missing items until the assistant helped us).
Both myself and my lady friend enjoyed the overall experience and burgers we created. It definitely looks like this new system which is being implemented is sending McDonald’s in the right direction.