Location, location, location: McDonald's and Burger King U.K. deploy locator apps

Oct. 5, 2010 | by Alicia Kelso

Craving a Whopper or a Big Mac? You're in luck ... if you're in the United Kingdom.

In early September, Burger King U.K. launched an iPhone application allowing users to find the closest restaurant.

The technology allows iPhone users to share their location through Facebook via GPS capabilities. It was developed by marketing specialists Pancentric Digital, and includes a full menu with nutritional information.

According to a story in Marketing Week, the marketing department for BK U.K. and Ireland plans for more app releases moving forward.

Thus far, however, those plans do not entail something similar in the U.S.

“Burger King Corp. does not currently have any official iPhone applications available in the U.S. While we aren’t planning to replicate the U.K. application, we are always looking to interact with our consumers in an entertaining and engaging way,” said Lauren Kuzniar, a spokesperson for Burger King.

A week after Burger King U.K.'s location app was launched, McDonald’s U.K. announced its own location-based application.

According to Technology Marketing Corp., the mobile service was developed by Mobile Commerce and works on any smart phone.

The iPhone generates the majority of McDonald’s mobile traffic in the country, displaying a map of the nearest McDonald’s restaurant, as well as directions, opening times and services.

Danya Proud, a spokesperson for McDonald's U.S., said domestic units will have a mobile application in the near future for most mobile devices that will include a "find your nearest McDonald's" feature. However, it is too early to share specifics of this technology.

Although not new to the quick-service industry, location apps are still a bit of a rarity. However, in October 2009, Taco Bell added an integrated GPS store locator to its Why Pay More! Shaker iPhone Application, which was later updated for Blackberry users.

Dairy Queen launched a store finder app last December that emulates the same "locator" feature found on the company's website.

The application, which uses GPS technology developed by space150, is useable for both iPhone and iPod touch devices, and includes a menu and nutritional information.

Topics: Customer Service / Experience , Hot Products , Marketing / Branding / Promotion , Online / Mobile / Social , Systems / Technology , Trends / Statistics

Alicia Kelso / Alicia has been a professional journalist for 15 years. Her work with FastCasual.com, QSRweb.com and PizzaMarketplace.com has been featured in publications around the world, including NPR, Good Morning America, Voice of Russia radio, Consumerist.com and Franchise Asia magazine.
View Alicia Kelso's profile on LinkedIn

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