CHURUBUSCO — Dick Littlefield brought Churubusco’s McDonald’s into the future.
In what McDonald’s has dubbed “the experience of the future,” the restaurant now has futuristic kiosks and table service for customers who dine inside the restaurant.
“We’re only the second in the Fort Wayne area with kiosk table service,” Littlefield said.
When a customer enters the restaurant, they can choose to go up to the register and order as usual, or order their own meals through the kiosk. If the customer chooses the kiosk, they place their order, pay by credit or debit card, take their drink cup and pick up a table tent.
A monitor shows McDonald’s crew members where the tent is located within the lobby, and the food is delivered directly to the table.
“It’s all digitized,” Littlefield said.
Though some in the media have portrayed the kiosks as a replacement for employees, Littlefield said he actually had to hire additional employees since the installation.
“We had to put more people on the floor,” Littlefield said. “We have to be out helping with the monitors and table service. We still have to have the register open.”
Along with the new kiosks, the Churubusco McDonald’s has a new digital menu board in the drive-thru, and offers fresh quarter pounders — no longer frozen.
“When you order it, they put it on the grill right then,” Littlefield said. “That’s a huge piece to this — the experience of the future.”
The new way of grilling burgers calls for an additional need for employees in the kitchen as well.
“People think we’re going to save labor by doing this, but that’s a fallacy,” Littlefield said. “The employees are very excited about it.”
A grand opening was held April 14. Churubusco High School’s band, show choir and cheerleaders made appearances at the event.
The update is one part of many in McDonald’s move into the future. Churubusco’s McDonald’s has been offering mobile ordering and curbside pickup for some time. In the future, area McDonald’s may see delivery as it partners with Uber Eats. Littlefield said South Bend will soon be offering the service.