McDonald’s Leadership in Self-Checkout Kiosks and Drive-Thru Menus

McDonald’s Leadership in Self-Checkout Kiosks and Drive-Thru Menus

McDonald’s Leadership in Self-Checkout Kiosks and Drive-Thru Menus

  • On September 26, 2022

Digital signage systems have evolved over the years and are becoming increasingly crucial to quick-service restaurants (QSRs). These tools are associated with providing customer-driven methods of raising overall output. For example, with self-checkout kiosks and drive-thru menus, you can ensure that your business diminishes costs, waiting time, and human error. The opportunities are limitless.

With the restaurant industry continuously undergoing massive changes, it becomes crucial for business owners to track new consumer spending behaviors through tech implementation. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated health concerns also demand that restaurants become more innovative in service delivery. In this guide, we discuss McDonald’s leadership in self-checkout kiosks and drive-thru menus and how they are working towards a future where customer experience and convenience are prioritized.

McDonald’s: An Industry Leader

McDonald’s is an industry leader in the fast-food sector. The fast food chain has risen to the top due to a strong emphasis on customer service and the use of effective marketing techniques. McDonald’s has forged its path within the restaurant business for decades. As a result, the company has recently been named the 9th most successful global brand. Few organizations can match McDonald’s success given the firm’s expansive customer base that spans 117 foreign markets.

It is vital to note that McDonald’s has also been setting the pace in tech advancements for fast food restaurants. For example, the organization led the way in phasing out old menu boards and installing self-checkout kiosks and drive-thru menu boards. The company’s enterprise resource planning system allows regional restaurants to alter prices separately and communicate to customers and vendors in real-time. These automated menu boards also change based on the time of the day. The potential impact that digital signage technology can have on the overall customer experience is immense. In the following sections, we discuss McDonald’s outdoor menu boards and self-checkout kiosks and how this technology has changed the game. 

How Outdoor Menu Boards Transform the Drive-thru Experience


McDonald’s installation of drive-thru menu boards has facilitated the ongoing shift to digital signage in the industry at large. When this shift took place in 2018, this was big news. The company had just set up thousands of digital menu boards across the country and the objective was to augment service delivery. The outdoor digital menu boards they installed have since been used by other quick-service restaurants (QSRs) to enhance customer service efficiency. 

As a result, much of the industry has noticed that a subsequent effect of this process is typically a higher return on investment (ROI) after investing in outdoor signage. In addition, digital signage software is more flexible and customizable compared to older static menu boards. Restaurants can integrate these customizations to align with their restaurant’s brand and vision. Another benefit is that digital menu boards propagate energy sustainability. These tools run on minimal energy and only use power when necessary. Compared to traditional menu boards, digital signage is more environmentally friendly and helps your business save on energy costs.

Lastly, digital menu boards enable business owners to separate menu displays from promotions. With the use of targeted messaging, it becomes easier to automate these two activities than before. In addition, customers can easily interact with digital signages, primarily when ads target specific demographics.

McDonald’s Self-Checkout Kiosks Are Changing the Game


McDonald’s also decided to make another significant investment into self-checkout kiosks. These are user-friendly fast food ordering kiosks that serve as a self-checkout system, enabling clients to place orders from touchscreen menus. The first problem that self-checkout kiosks solve is preventing customers from standing in long lines as they wait for cashiers to become available. Secondly, these kiosks are built as a single point-of-sale (POS) system that enhances efficiency.

It is important to note that McDonald’s is the first major QSR to invest in self-checkout kiosks. As a result, the company has been setting standards in this area, too, leading to other companies experimenting with this technology. So, what are the advantages of using self-checkout kiosks?

1. Content Flexibility

As an owner, you can experiment with your menu and product pricing. The digital nature of self-service checkout kiosks makes it easier for owners and managers to alter these features when the need arises. For example, you can change prices to reflect offers or changes in the cost of production. This process offers much-needed convenience for you and your customers. It also can provide a more vibrant and engaging checkout experience for customers if you utilize multiple different forms of media, such as graphics, images, video, etc.

2. Promotions

Another advantage of self-checkout kiosk solutions is that you can easily communicate promotions to customers. For example, using self-checkout kiosks like those at McDonald’s, you can update kiosk content to show discounts and specials based on redeemed loyalty points.

3. Reduced Labor Costs

Automation further frees up time for you and your employees so you can focus on more critical areas. Rather than employing tons of cashiers to ease customer traffic, self-checkout kiosks are faster and more convenient, which reduces labor costs for the organization.

4. Reduced Human Error

When your employees are swamped with customers, it’s understandable that they could make mistakes. As can be expected, automation (such as through the use of barcode scanners) minimizes the chances of errors occurring during day-to-day retail operations. This way, accuracy is increased, and productivity subsequently rises.

5. Reduced Wait Times

Customer waiting time is minimized when a QSR installs self-checkout solutions since your customers now have more than one checkout option. When there are long lines, customers can simply go to automated self-ordering kiosks and place their orders, breaking up the lines and taking pressure off of employees. This reality condenses the workload for your employees, improves motivation, boosts customer satisfaction, and creates a smoother checkout process for all.

Some other benefits are:

  • Dynamic service options.
  • Flexibility for customers due to the order selection and payment process.
  • Overall customer convenience.


At Keyser, we have years of experience as digital signage providers. Our commitment has been to evolve with this technology to provide the best solutions for organizations. So, it is safe to say that we’re always looking for the next big step. We’ve done that with McDonald’s and we’re prepared to help you take the next step as well. If you would like any background on our own collaboration with McDonald’s during their outdoor signage installations, check out our previous blog for more info. 

You can start by ensuring that you contact Keyser today if you run a restaurant or a business (such as grocery stores, supermarkets, or other retail stores) that wishes to try out digital menu boards and self-service kiosk systems. Throughout your journey into adopting new self-checkout technology, you will become part of a future where customer experience and convenience are prioritized.


Leave Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *