Customising convenience – oxymoron or genius?

  • Opinion
  • February 29, 2016
  • Fiona Kerr
Customising convenience – oxymoron or genius?

At first glance it seems to be an unlikely coupling - customisation from the king of convenience.

 McDonald’s, the brand and the experience is synonymous with fast food, value and above all else, consistency. The same great (debatable) taste no matter which country, city, suburb, time zone or year you find them in.  

But hold the line. They’ve brought to market a premium, tasty, personalised meal. It’s not new, it’s not innovative but hats off to a job extremely well done.

It provides the trifecta of customer experience - accessibility, choice and differentiation. They’ve taken the mundane, no surprises Maccas experience we love to hate and elevated it to something interesting, sensory, yet comfortingly familiar.  

How does it work?

On entering the store you find a line of large format digital screens with “Place your order here” emblazoned across the pixels. Then you start creating your own burger by touching the images and words on screen to select your ingredients. It’s really that simple.


Your creation in 5 simple steps

1.      Choose your bun - brioche, ciabatta, farmers loaf, etc

2.      Get saucy - a range of different sauces - BBQ, tomato, chipotle mayo, aioli, garlic, honey mustard, pesto mayo. The list goes on and on.

3.      Fresh'n it up - add your salad (rabbit food my mother used to call it) pineapple, beetroot, tomatoes, caramelised onions, pickles, lettuce, jalapeños, etc

4.      Turn up the taste - add bacon (crispy or rasher), eggs, mushrooms, tortilla chips and guacamole.

5.      Make it cheesy - Swiss, cheddar, mozza, Parmesan, whatever takes your fancy.

There’s even a diet and allergy requirements section and the touch of a button shows you what ingredients are vegetarian and gluten free.

You can choose to pay by Eftpos at the kiosk or at the counter and then take your numbered docket and clip it to your chosen seat or you can watch your meal being created at an open serve-over with all the fresh ingredients displayed. The chefs wear “Create you Taste” branded black aprons and chefs caps, standing out from the regular staff. Your burger is brought by wait staff on a wooden board, piping hot with a flagged kebab stick.


What does it mean for Maccas?

More moola: The obvious difference is the price of the burger which is based on a base cost plus the ingredients you add to your creation. While a normal Chicken burger can set you back around $8 my burger was $13.50. For the sake of research I sacrificed my newly implemented diet plan and ordered a grilled chicken burger on a brioche bun with grilled pineapple, caramelised onions, lettuce, Swiss cheese and pesto mayo. Customers are enjoying this new experience, the store is increasing average spend per customer and new customers are being enticed in the door. Result.


Offer shift: I don’t think a huge overhaul of in store systems would have been required to implement this new offering – a few more staff, increased stock orders and possibly different cooking techniques, but I bet they didn’t need to change very much. The key parts were already mostly there.

Engaging experience: The real beauty lies in the fact that this isn’t new news but McDonalds appear to be owning it. Think Tank, Pita Pit, Subway, Dominos, or just about any fast food joint you can think of, have been “making your meal” forever.  But take an existing concept - modernise it, make it just a little bit cool, stick it into a different category with a twist and hey pesto (I couldn’t resist), instant hit! The store was pumping for a late lunchtime mid-week.  I could barely find an open seat and at a guess 80% of the customers were ordering and feasting on customised burgers.  

If I had to be picky, my only critique would be that the experience was a little disjointed. It just didn’t taste like Maccas. At all. Which I found surprisingly dissatisfying for this wannabe health junkie. 

If you’re an original Maccas aficionado then ‘Create your Taste’ might not be to your taste. But if, until now, Maccas has never been your thing, you should get right in and buy to try. Oh and of course rate your experience through their new ‘mymaccas’ app.

Post-blog commentary from Hotfoot chief executive Juanita Neville-Te Rito

Kiosks have become all the rage in the QSR segment as I saw first-hand recently in the US. As Fiona has highlighted the self-service nature do provide a new “edge” to the existing offer and this has incredible appeal to digital natives who often don’t want to talk with the sales person behind the counter. They want to control the experience on their terms.

Kiosks are help manage demand in busy periods. I for one know that when I enter a Maccas with my kids the line often makes me want to weep. But this innovation has helped retain me rather than my quick negotiation with my kids that I will give them a pony if we leave and eat somewhere else.

From all the analysis I have seen it would appear that kiosks don’t actually reduce staff head hours. Remember that there is a significant amount of drive-thru that isn’t engaged in this offer to be served. But it does significantly heightens the experience especially in speed of service and perceptions around food quality. There is a cost to this customisation in preparation and food cost, but the enhanced offer should drive in more people, spending more, more often. The retail trifecta. #makingretailhappen


This post was republished from Hotfoot's blog, retail geek.

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.


Torpedo7 evolves its bricks and mortar strategy

Torpedo7’s new flagship at Westfield Newmarket represents the next step in the evolution of this former pureplay’s bricks and mortar strategy.


Visual merchandising tips from top designer Kris Ericksen

  • Design
  • October 9, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Visual merchandising tips from top designer Kris Ericksen

The Judge’s Choice award for the Welly Loves WOW Window Dressing Competition this year went to Danish jewellery retailer Dyrberg/Kern’s luminous window display. The designer behind it, Kris Ericksen of Plato Design, shares some tips on how to put together a stunning piece of visual merchandising.

Read more

The Kai Box talks plant-based business

  • News
  • October 9, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
The Kai Box talks plant-based business

Auckland-based vegan food company The Kai Box is riding a wave of consumer interest in plant-based food. Co-founder John Mellows shares some thoughts on the popularity of veganism with us.

Read more

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Regional rollercoaster
What does retail look like in 2019 for ...
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...

Peek inside the new Sass & Bide store at Westfield Newmarket

  • Design
  • October 8, 2019
Peek inside the new Sass & Bide store at Westfield Newmarket

The new flagship at Westfield Newmarket is Australian label Sass & Bide’s third in New Zealand and 16th in total. Take a look at its fit-out in our gallery below.

Read more
Sponsored content

Zoe & Morgan talk music

Our friends at OneMusic caught up with the lovelies at Zoe & Morgan to learn about what makes their stores hum.


New ecommerce start-up Beer Hug prioritises fresh brews

  • News
  • October 8, 2019
  • The Register team
New ecommerce start-up Beer Hug prioritises fresh brews

A recently-launched online marketplace named Beer Hug aims to get fresher craft beer to consumers faster. Co-founder Adam Prentice shared some insight with us into why freshness is important.

Read more
Next page
Results for
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

The Register

Content marketing/advertising? Email or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit