McDonald’s opens first dark kitchen in UK with delivery now worth 10% of sales

McDonald’s flagship restaurant, Chicago 1

Deliveroo and Uber have been the major drivers of ‘dark kitchens’ – but now it appears that even McDonald’s is following suit after opening its first off-premises kitchen in the UK.

The fast food chain has created its own delivery kitchen in Hounslow, London, in an attempt to cater to demand for home orders.

According to Property Week, the kitchen will be used to prepare food to meet the “growing appetite” for McDonald’s deliveries direct to customers via apps such as Uber Eats.

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A McDonald’s spokesman told the news site that the move was “part of a wider trial to test different restaurant formats”.

“The kitchen looks and feels exactly the same as all our other kitchens up and down the country, and will deliver the same great-tasting food our customers expect. It will adhere to exactly the same standards of food quality.”

Property Week said that it will be made clear on McDonald’s customers’ receipts, and on the UberEats app, that the food has been prepared at the delivery kitchen rather than a regular branch.

Delivery is a fast growing part of McDonald’s UK business. Its home delivery service, ‘McDelivery’, is now available in 950 restaurants, and accounts for just over 10% of its sales.

During the last quarter, it has seen up to 124,000 orders a day placed for delivery, while its app has been downloaded more than 3.6 million times since it was launched a year ago.

Paul Pomroy, CEO McDonald’s UK & Ireland, says that delivery is one element of a multi-channel approach.

“Convenience has been, and is, key to driving our growth – being where our customers want, when they want,” he stated. “We’ve continued to invest in the formats that our customers recognise and will have opened 40 new drive thru and high street restaurants this year by the end of 2019.

“We’ve also been trialling a new format this quarter – ‘McDonald’s to Go’, a small urban store, takeaway only with a limited menu and focussed on speed of service, perfect for city workers. The results of this test have been encouraging.”

McDonald’s has 1,270 restaurants in the UK and employs 120,000 people.

REVEALED: The amount McDonald’s has spent on its restaurants since hitting the UK market 45 years ago

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Andrew Seymour

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