McDonald’s in Blackburn has undergone a new, exciting transformation following local franchisee David Duncan’s investment in improving the experience for local customers. These major developments will provide the foundations for current and future changes to the McDonald’s menu and service experience.
The restaurant, which re-opened its doors on the 14th October in an official ceremony with, Deputy Leader of the Council Phil Riley, and the Deputy Mayor, Hussain Aktar, will be holding an event to celebrate on Saturday the 24th October with lots of activities for the family.
This significant investment demonstrates the ongoing commitment from all McDonald’s franchisees’ to towns across the UK and signals the start of an extensive restaurant evolution programme. Many of the new features will begin to appear in other McDonald’s restaurants in Blackburn, with the transformations of the Drive-Thru on Livesey Branch Road and in Whitebirk happening next year.
Digital innovation is at the heart of the transformation. The big changes focus on providing customers with more choice as to how they order and pay, adapting how the food is prepared and served and offering new technological features to create an environment that is even more welcoming and enjoyable.
State of the art, self-order kiosks will give customers the option of a brand new experience when choosing and ordering their food at McDonald’s. They will be able to browse the entire menu and check out the nutritional information of each meal at the same time. Once customers have completed their order, they pay swiftly by card or contactless, and then go straight to a designated area of the counter to pick up their order. In the kitchens, new lay-outs and increased technology means McDonald’s iconic products will be made specially to order for customers, with every burger and wrap being freshly prepared.
To complete the digital transformation, free to use tablets have been installed at some tables for customers who want to check their newsfeed and emails or play the latest games. The restaurant redesigns will also include a striking new décor to create an enjoyable space for everyone to enjoy.
McDonald’s franchisee David Duncan now runs six restaurants across Blackburn, Whitebirk, Haslingden, Accrington and Darwen, including the restaurant being transformed on King William Street. His restaurants contribute £5.6 million to the local economy*. He said: “We’re thrilled with the transformation because we’re committed to offering our customers’ more choice and fast service.
Technology has a huge role to play in all walks of life, including our customers’ eating out experience, so the new tech we’ve introduced recognises the way people live their lives today. The response to the changes from my team has been very positive and they are enjoying the new ways of working. To ensure we continue to create an outstanding customer experience, I am also continuing to invest in my people through our industry-leading training programmes and career opportunities.”
Franchisee David Duncan and his business manager Shoaib Khalifa are also members of the Blackburn BID (Business Improvement District), which brings together a group of Blackburn businesses within a designated area who are investing in a series of measures to improve the town to improve trade. This comes at a time when Blackburn is also undergoing a multi-million pound regeneration across many sites including development projects such as Cathedral Quarter, a new leisure centre, bus station and transport infrastructure.
Manager of the Blackburn BID, Harriet Roberts, said: “The level of investment and the massive changes made to the McDonald’s restaurant in Blackburn makes a huge statement to any other potential leisure businesses looking at the opportunities presented by Blackburn at this exciting time. The town is buzzing with change and the improvements at McDonald’s demonstrate a level of confidence in the future and a real commitment to the high street by franchisee. It’s a priority for the BID that we increase our offer of great leisure facilities and high quality places to eat where customers want to spend time. Research shows that if people stop to eat and drink when they are out shopping, the increased dwell time will increase spend and so retailers will benefit. A positive customer experience and this new, tech-savvy McDonald’s definitely helps get us the message out that the new, improved Blackburn is a great place to spend time, shop and do business”.
Paul Pomroy, CEO, McDonald’s UK, said: “We are confident that the investment we are making will bring new and exciting changes to McDonald’s in Blackburn and across the rest of the UK. We’ve listened to customer feedback and know we need to modernise further in order to move the McDonald’s experience on, and remain relevant to the lives of the 3 million customers that we serve daily. Our converted restaurants like Blackburn will deliver a fast and easy experience, aided by digital and traditional ordering points ensuring we continue to be enjoyed by our customers.”
As McDonald’s constantly strives to bring more innovation to customers in the UK; the future could see even more exciting features introduced if current trials prove successful. These include the option to customise the classic burgers that customers know and love, ordering and paying by smartphone. A small number of restaurants are trialling ‘table service’, with the option to have food delivered direct to where people are sitting. Customers in some restaurants will also be able to enjoy interactive table-tops games whilst they share a meal and even charge their smartphones using wireless charging devices.