Exciting Evolution - new technology aiming to improve your McDonald's experience in the UK

I'll never forget my first visit to McDonald's. I was around 13 years of age and mum bought us a hamburger each. She handed over cash and was handed her food. It was the first of many McDonald's burgers I would eat over the next few decades.

McDonald's Signature Collection

I remember being so excited when the first drive-thru came to our region. My boyfriend had a car and we made a special trip to experience the novelty. We felt very sophisticated!

Little did we realise then how far technology would become part and parcel of our everyday life and McDonald's is leading the way using tech to evolve and streamline the business of preparing, ordering and serving their products to make life ever more convenient for their customers.

I recently visited McDonald's in Balham where customers can not only order via giant touchscreen, customising their food during the ordering process, but they can choose to have their meal brought to them in one of three table service zones.

Oh how useful this service would have been for me when I was living through the double buggy years.

Let me explain the dilemma parents and carers visiting fast food restaurants have.

Do you leave the children at a free table and risk runaways and sibling rivalry as you queue, anxiously casting your glance towards the table your offspring are parked at? Or do you take them with you, balance two loaded trays on the hood of the buggy and push through crowds, scattering pensioners like nine-pins, heading to the only vacant table on the ground floor only to be beaten to it by two 13year-old girls sharing a small milkshake?

McDonald's table service

The idea that you can choose a zone, select it during the ordering process on a convenient screen then relax while someone else balances the trays sounds like bliss to me. The staff who wait the tables even wear special aprons loaded with dips so you can satisfy your offspring's desire for mass quantities of ketchup for their fishmongers without leaving the table.

During my visit to Balham there were even hints that in the not too distant future you may even be able to order and pay from an app on your phone.

A little more about these giant touch-screens. They've advanced even since I last used one. My main complaint about them was that you couldn't customise your food. I don't like cheese so if I wanted a Big Mac I had to bypass the screen and queue to talk to a human. I like the wraps but I don't like tomatoes so again - no use using the screen.

McDonald's touch screen

Now the screen offers the option of removing items. Hurrah! This means I can order our whole family's complicated meal choices and be able to check them onscreen before completing my order thereby saving the cashiers the job of reciting my order back to me while I count Happy Meals on my fingers.

While I am talking about screens I must mention the screens available for customers use. To be honest the local children were hogging most of them during our visit thanks to the availability of a range of popular apps but it was nice to see that if I could elbow a small child out of the way for long enough I could browse eBay, check the news and weather or my social media networks or even play a bit of Angry Birds. There was even solitaire on the tablets which would delight my husband who is totally addicted to the game.
McDonald's tablets

The highlight of my visit to Balham McDonald's was a trip into the kitchen where I was allowed to make a Big Mac. This delighted me no end - apologies to those of you who actually work in McDonald's and are probably heartily sick of assembling burgers for fussy customers like me.

We saw how the burgers are stored and cooked, how the sauces are dispensed, how the various buns are allocated for each burger, including the 3 part (the parts are called the crown, club and heel in case you were wondering) sesame seed bun for the iconic Big Mac.

McDonald's Big Mac buns, Balham

A fellow blogger Lauren from Mummy Is A Gadget Geek used to work in McDonald's and she was amazed at how different the kitchen is compared to when she worked there.

Basically McDonald's want to balance quality and speed to give the customer the best results. Even the counter the burgers are assembled on is heated so it doesn't get cold while trained kitchen staff assemble your customised, freshly made product.

I managed not to burn myself or get too muddled, and built my Big Mac quite successfully.
madmumof7 Balham McDonald's making Big Mac

Afterwards we were invited to choose something to eat from the lengthy McDonald's menu. Ooh so many tempting items. I love the chicken nuggets and really liked the look of the chicken BBQ BLC but the option of choosing a Signature Collection burger was too tempting as I still can't get them in my local Mcdonald's restaurants.

I chose the Classic from the Signature Collection with it's tasty brioche style bun, Beechwood smoked bacon, batavia lettuce, wholegrain mustard mayo, ketchup, red onion.....but obviously no cheddar cheese on mine!

Now some of you will have to be patient while all of the McDonald's restaurants across the UK evolve but it won't be too long before the revolutionary kitchen designs, digital ordering and entertainment systems and full menu is available across the country.

I for one can't wait!

madmumof7 #foodblogger

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.