McDonald’s sees an opportunity to help cut labor costs and increase customer satisfaction all at the same time: A new mobile application that sends orders directly to the kitchen and shortens wait times for hungry customers.

To help customers develop the new habit of choosing their phone, rather than the person at the counter, to place their orders, the fast food giant is offering free fries on Fridays to mobile application users, for the rest of 2018. McDonald’s hopes that once customers start using the mobile app to fulfill their meal and snack cravings, the resulting habit will be tough to break.

Business insiders predict that mobile orders will account for 10.7 percent of sales in the fast food industry by 2020, so it is wise for McDonald’s to take steps now to help establish itself as a leader in this space and develop a strong customer base. With over 20 million registered users of the mobile app already, the potential savings that could be realized from reduced labor costs alone make the free fry promotion a hot idea.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What are the benefits of this app to McDonald’s?
  2. What are the benefits of this app to consumers?

Source: Tom Ryan, “McDonald’s Offers Free Fries for Mobile Orders,” Retail Wire, July 23, 2018; Ayana Archie and Jeanne Bonner, “McDonald’s Is Giving Away Fries for the Rest of the Year … If You Spend $1 on its App,” CNN.com, July 20, 2018