Steve Easterbrook, CEO of McDonald’s, announced its partnership with UberEats, and shared that now over 2,000 of the chain’s locations currently offer delivery, and that the count will grow to over 3,500 locations by the end of June.
No surprise: McDonald’s has been searching for ways to become relevant to a new generation of consumers, has proven success in delivery in the Middle East and Asia, and has leaped ahead of its competition to try to become the fast-food delivery king (Sorry, Burger King!).
McDonald’s delivery will set you back $4.99, so it’s unlikely that those who order a meal for themselves (breakfast, lunch and dinner items are available) will be the core audience. The delivery service is perfect for offices and groups. Easterbrook also told the conference that 60 percent of deliveries so far have been placed in the evening and late at night.
McDonald’s signature dish is its french fries, hot and crispy right out of the fryer. Will UberEats’ hot boxes keep those fries the way we love them? Many people have experienced the convenience of takeout from a restaurant or food being delivered by companies like Yelp Eat24, Postmates or DoorDash, followed by the disappointment of unwrapping the food to find the bun on the sandwich jostled and the sauce dripping down the side. For a company like McDonald’s, which prides itself on excellent execution, handing off its foods to the independent contractors at UberEats may become a brand nightmare if consumers complain.
The big opportunity for McDonald’s is finally getting consumers to try its Signature Crafted beef and chicken sandwich meals. These are the sandwiches designed to compete with the burgers from Five Guys, Shake Shack and others that have upped the quality, demand -- and price for a burger. On the UberEats app in Southern California, McDonald’s still leads with the Big Mac, Quarter Pounder and other favorites. It's a safe move focused on its present customers, but does little to promote its new top-of-the-line offerings to a new customer base.