Enjoy mixing every soda in one cup while you still can. CNN reported McDonald’s plans to phase out self-service soda machines in its US locations.
The fast food giant cites changed consumer behaviors post-pandemic, increased delivery orders and reduced dining room traffic for the change. With 40% of McDonald’s sales coming from digital sales, the need for machines accessible to customers has decreased dramatically.
Future designs, including the recently announced “CosMc’s” format, will either reduce dining room sizes or eliminate them and feature high-tech drive-thrus.
In June, McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinksi told analysts that the company’s “footprint reflects what the population looks like probably 20 or 30 years ago.” He sees the shift in focus as a way to open up “a whole bunch of development opportunities.”
Self-serve soda machines will be gone entirely from the Golden Arches by 2032.
McDonald’s is far from the only mainstay in the standard American diet to experiment with new formats. Starbucks, Chipotle and Taco Bell also prioritize digital sales and drive-thrus, while Burger King simplified its menu to speed up service.