After I customized my quarter-pound burger with pretty standard dressings, I stood a little lost and nearly alone at the pickup counter for a few minutes. I turned back to the kiosk attendant/spirit guide and asked, “Am I supposed to wait here?”
I wasn’t. That’s how unprepared I was for the table service feature.
I bashfully took my numbered receipt and a table tracker, which looks much like any restaurant buzzer you get while waiting to be seated, and I joined my lunchmates, who were sharp enough to know right away to sit down to wait.
I was surprised to learn the table tracker wasn’t made for buzzing, but for, well, table tracking. My order was assigned to my tracker, which relayed my table location to the staff so they could find me to deliver my food.
However, the trackers don’t specify where at the table each person sits, and there was some confusion when the waiter brought burgers to our table of three. She used order numbers that corresponded to numbers printed on our receipts, but there were similar numbers also assigned to each of our table trackers.
Maybe this wouldn’t ordinarily be an issue at a table service restaurant, but after spending a good bit of time poking around the menu to customize our orders, we couldn’t remember exactly what we’d chosen. It took a minute to sort out.
I was also surprised when one hamburger, ordered with pickles, arrived at our table pickle-less. Like any other restaurant operation, the kiosk system isn’t perfect.
The burgers are served open faced, with warm ingredients on the bottom bun and toppings like lettuce and tomato resting on the top. This presentation is certainly a better look than the usual paper-wrapped cheeseburgers and boxed Big Macs.
And it tastes good. I’ve turned my nose up at McDonald’s hamburgers for years, but in a grand ranking of fast food hamburgers, this one could be sandwiched between Five Guys and Whataburger.
Am I surprised? Well, yeah. In a 2014 Consumer Reports survey, customers ranked McDonald’s hamburgers below 20 similar competitor products. I guess it makes sense that the powerful and iconic burger joint would kickstart an initiative to turn that public image around. That’s what Create Your Taste is, and maybe it could work.
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