McDonald's looking to create Starbucks experience with kiosks, digital menu boards

McDonald's is looking to upgrade its McCafe espresso machines with the McBarista. This upgrade will feature $12,000 espresso machines, sweets, seasonal coffee flavors, kiosks and digital menu boards, according to a report by Crain's Chicago Business.

This is part of McDonald's push to create a better customer experience.  Previously, many franchisees complained about the inefficiency of the older espresso machines, which were usually placed very close to the rest of the kitchen. The newer machines are designed with touchscreens to make them easier to operate, and they produce richer coffee, according to the report.

McDonald's has been losing customers, especially as U.S. consumers snack more between meals, and will often turn to Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks. McDonald's is trying to compete with Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks by offering better coffee and snacks such as pastries.

"It comes down to execution," R.J. Hottovy, an analyst at Morningstar, said in the report. "They need to have higher quality. They'll never get to the level of Starbucks, but they can differentiate themselves from Dunkin'."

Topics: Coffee/Bakery/Donut, Food & Beverage, Menu Boards, Systems / Technology

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