, UK

McDonald’s earmarks £250m for restaurant redesigns

The upgrade programme includes redesigning McDonald’s kitchens and dining areas to further factor in digital sales channels and the company’s app.

McDonald’s is investing more than £250 million into redesigning its restaurants in the UK and Ireland, in a move to allot more space to online orders.

In a four-year upgrade plan titled ‘Convenience of the Future’, the fast food giant said it will seek to provide diners with an even speedier experience, with some 200 restaurants across the region set to receive the upgrade in 2022.

800 conversions, meanwhile, are set to take place by the end of 2026. 

The upgrade programme includes redesigning McDonald’s kitchens and dining areas to further factor in digital sales channels and the company’s app. 

The company said some 50% of sales are now through online means. Sites in London, including in Bow and Peckham, have already seen upgrades, including the additions of a designated delivery courier area.

For quicker drive-thru and click & collect transactions, couriers will also receive a separate parking area and traffic routes will be modified around restaurants.

Gareth Pearson, McDonald’s UK&I chief operations officer, said: “Our customers rightly expect to have choice in how and where they order and collect their food, and our job is to ensure that every experience is a great one. For this to be the case, we know we also have to provide our restaurant teams and delivery partners with the best possible environment to work in.”

Russia exit
In a separate announcement by the fast food chain, McDonald’s said it will sell all 850 of its restaurants in Russia, more than three decades after it opened its first store in the country.

The chain explained that the "humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, and the precipitating unpredictable operating environment, have led McDonald's to conclude that continued ownership of the business in Russia is no longer tenable, nor is it consistent with McDonald's values."

McDonald's followed other Western companies and temporarily shut down its restaurants in Russia in March.

The Russian restaurants will be "de-Arched” once the sale is finalised, meaning the locations will no longer be allowed to use the McDonald's name, logo or menu. Employees will still be paid until the transaction closes and that "employees have future employment with any potential buyer."

CEO Chris Kempczinski said he's proud of the more than 60,000 workers employed in Russia and said the decision was "extremely difficult."

"However, we have a commitment to our global community and must remain steadfast in our values. And our commitment to our values means that we can no longer keep the Arches shining there," he added.

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