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McDonald’s spokeswoman Ofelia Casillas confirmed in an email to Nation’s Restaurant News that McDonald’s is also testing a mobile payments solution in Salt Lake City and Austin, Texas.

“We’re always looking at new technologies to make the McDonald’s experience better for our customers,” Casillas wrote. “We are testing some of these technologies in a few markets, so it’s premature to speculate on the decisions we may make after the tests, but we’re excited to bring a cutting-edge experience in the future to our customers.”

The mobile solution was one of several throughput initiatives recently discussed in meetings between McDonald’s Corp. and regional teams of franchisees represented by the National Leadership Council, or NLC.

According to a memorandum of notes recapping a June meeting of an NLC meeting, McDonald’s Corp. is testing the solution to include for mobile payments, including an outdoor payment device for the drive-thru; mobile ordering and pick-up for both in the stores and curbside; and customer-engagement solutions like targeted offers and a mobile-loyalty system.

Under a “what we need to do” heading in the memo, the franchisee author said the NLC and McDonald’s would have to work together to “help fellow owner-operators understand that, while many competitors are publicizing their efforts to get an initial foothold in the mobile arena, no one has developed a comprehensive solution that integrates all the opportunities this technology presents.”

McDonald’s has made previous mobile-marketing efforts, including the introduction this past January of quick-response, or QR, codes on all its packaging in the United States. When scanned with a Web-enabled camera phone, the QR codes activate a special Web page on the phone’s mobile browser to disclose the chain’s nutritional and caloric information.

McDonald’s operates or franchises more than 34,500 restaurants around the world, including more than 14,000 locations in the United States.

Contact Mark Brandau at mark.brandau@penton.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @Mark_from_NRN