(GoRealNewsNow.com) – In a monumental shift at McDonald’s, the fast food giant has decided to end its self-serve soda refills, meaning that customers in its restaurants will have to go to a cashier to get extra drinks.
The company confirmed earlier this week that it would do away with self-service soda machines by 2032, Newsmax reports, citing The State-Journal Register and The Associated Press.
“Say goodbye to refilling that Coke,” reads the conservative news outlet’s report title.
The elimination of self-served refills will apply to McDonald’s restaurants in the United States. It remains unclear whether it would also affect the fast food chain’s overseas venues.
On Tuesday, McDonald’s confirmed its decision in an email to AP, informing that the change concerning self-serve refills was designed to “create consistency for customers and crew members across the chain’s offerings.”
Those include in-person restaurant dining, drive-thru options, and online deliveries.
McDonald’s didn’t disclose any other details about the reasoning behind its decision to cancel self-served soda refills – for instance, “finances or sanitation.”
Newsmax stresses that the fast food chain’s clients have been using the self-serving machines to refill their drinks for years, thus saving themselves extra trips to a cashier.
At the same time, the transition to behind-the-counter soda machines has already begun, as some McDonald’s locations are already equipped with them.
It is noted that some other fast-food chains have already implemented similar devices and policies.
According to the Springfield-based State Journal-Register, several McDonald’s locations throughout Illinois eliminated self-served soda refills last week.
The report points out analysts’ observations that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about changes in consumer attitudes – among those, a surge in online sales and digital delivery orders from fast food restaurant chains.
Thus, some fast food companies have boosted their drive-thrus and collaboration with food delivery apps: Chipotle expanded its Carside pickup venues while Domino’s started a new partnership with Uber Eats.
In the second quarter of 2023, 40% of McDonald’s systemwide sales were digital – including app, delivery, and kiosk purchases.
Its Q2 revenues increased by 14%, reaching $6.5 billion, while its net income grew to $2.3 billion.
In a July earnings call, McDonald’s Chief Financial Officer Ian Border said some of the second-quarter gains may decline later in the year as inflation decreases.