The restaurant chain is trialing deliveries at dozens of outlets after agreeing on a partnership with UberEats, the food transportation app created by the American technology company. Users of the app who live within a mile and a half of certain branches will be able to order from the McDonald’s menu, after which a bicycle or moped-riding courier will drop it at customers’ location.
McDonald’s has opposed offering takeaways for its 43 years in the UK but has ultimately succumbed to requests to introduce home deliveries in Britain, starting a test of the service in London, Leeds, and Nottingham. It appears amid growing appetite for on-demand takeaways, driven by smartphone apps and the internet.
Demand for takeaways rose ten times faster than dining out last year, with 599 million orders placed by increasingly time-starved Brits. Orders were worth £3.6bn, up 50pc since 2008, according to NPD Group.
But despite increasing demand for takeaways, the UK is one of McDonald’s last major markets to launch delivery. The “McDelivery” service was accessible in the US as far back as 1993 and made it to India in 2004.
Its hand was forced after rival fast food chains made the initial move. Burger King began trialing UK deliveries in 2015, and KFC has succeeded this year following a tie-up with takeaway app Just Eat.
McDonald’s said its delivery would be available from 7 am to 2 am, meaning both late-night cravings and morning-after difficulties will be catered. Customers are charged a £2.50 delivery charge by Uber, and not at the cost of their order.
Claude Abi-Gerges, who operates five of the London locations taking part in the trial, said: “Delivery is something that my customers often ask about, so it’s exciting that we’re now up and running.”
UberEats plans to expand to 40 cities.
McDonald’s said it would look at growing the trial, which is presently at 22 restaurants in London, seven in Nottingham and three in Leeds if it proves a success.