Imagine that you’re visiting a large restaurant at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany. You take a seat and give your order to a roving server, who taps it into a tablet computer and takes payment. Then your food arrives, which is…Big Macs and fries? What is this? When did McDonald’s start offering table service?
It’s part of an experiment at the 500-seat McDonald’s at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, where the fast-foodery will try a bold new experiment in bringing food to people. They can either place their orders on a kiosk (like at their locations with fancy $8 burgers in Australia) and then sit and wait for their food to arrive. Easterbrook calls this set up the future of McDonald’s, which raises one inevitable question: would we be expected to tip here in the U.S.?
The job of new McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook is to figure out how to coax people all over the world back into the chain’s restaurants, away from quick-serve interlopers like Chipotle and Panera. Germany is one of the trouble spots, along with the United States.