McDonald's starts table service in Germany
By Georgina Prodhan
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - McDonald's Corp (MCD.N: Quote) is introducing table service in Germany as it reinvents itself as a "modern, progressive burger company" under new Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook.
The world's biggest fast-food chain has been testing myriad new ideas, including kiosk ordering, custom burgers and even a completely new restaurant brand in a bid to revive slumping sales and better compete with more nimble chains ranging from Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc (CMG.N: Quote) to Burger King QSR.TO.
"This is where McDonald's is headed," Easterbrook said at a McDonald's in the Frankfurt Airport that serves more than 1 million customers a year.
Diners at that restaurant can now choose to be served at their table after placing an order at the front counter, via a digital kiosk or with a waiter carrying a tablet computer.
McDonald's has tested table service in other markets, a spokeswoman told Reuters.
Easterbrook, 47, made the announcement at the reopening of the restaurant, which is Germany's biggest with more than 500 seats. Germany has been a challenging market for McDonald's, which has struggled to find the right recipe for selling to the nation's health- and cost-conscious diners.
McDonald's executives have identified its priority turnaround markets as Germany, Japan, Australia and the United States, where it plans to expand a custom hamburger program called "Create Your Taste" and next month will start testing all-day breakfast in San Diego.
Easterbrook, a Briton who took the helm on March 1, is the second non-American to take the job. His challenge is to halt a slide in sales around the world. Continued...