McDonald's Is Doing Away With Its Self-Serve Beverage Stations

McDonald's beverage cup
McDonald's beverage cup - 8th.creator/Shutterstock

While the Coca-Cola will remain unique at McDonald's, the way you get an ice cold cup of soda or other fountain beverage is set to shift at the fast food eatery. The global chain with headquarters in Chicago just announced that self-serve beverage stations will soon be phased out in all stores. Beverages will now be poured by crew behind the counter, says McDonald's. The move is aimed at creating a more consistent experience for diners. Currently, drive-thru beverages are poured by McDonald's workers and in-store beverages are filled by the customer. This creates, according to McDonald's, too much variation in the overall beverage experience. Additionally, the company notes that having crew members fill beverages will ultimately lead to a quicker, simpler interaction for both crew and customers as well as cleaner public areas in its restaurants.

McDonald's locations in its home state of Illinois have already begun the transition. Other stores will be updated in coming years with a goal of having all McDonald's beverage stations located behind counters by 2032.

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Consistency And Loyalty

Retro McDonald's sign
Retro McDonald's sign - Patty_c/Getty Images

The move may upset some customers who want control over the amount of ice they put in their drink or enjoy mixing soda flavors. But if the past is prologue, then McDonald's should weather any tempest just fine. The brand has proved resilient and enjoys an astounding level of loyalty from its devoted customer base. As evidence, the restaurant chain announced in 2022 that despite a nearly 10% price hike, it saw a 6.1% growth in sales. McDonald's attributed this to its highly-cultivated image as an affordable dining option.

The company is doing so well, in fact, that they announced in July that they will launch a spin-off restaurant. Based around a character McDonald's introduced in the 1980s, CosMc's is set to open a few stores in early 2024, and customers should expect a similar feel to McDonald's though with a unique personality. Specifics surrounding CosMc's, including whether or not customers will be able to pour their own beverages, have not yet been released.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.