McDonald's To 'Phase Out' Popular Dining Room Feature
By Logan DeLoye
September 11, 2023
McDonald's plans to do away with all of its soda fountain machines across the United States in the near future. According to Business Insider, the popular fast-food chain has already started removing these machines from restaurant dining rooms across Illinois and California. The company shared a statement detailing the reason behind this change.
"McDonald's will be transitioning away from self-serve beverage stations in dining rooms across the U.S. by 2032. This change is intended to create a consistent experience for both customers and crew across all ordering points, whether that's McDelivery, the app, kiosk, drive-thru or in-restaurant."
Instead of walking up to the soda machines to re-fill your drink, you will now have to ask a crew member to do so behind the counter. Not only will ridding each dining room of soda machines positively impact McDonald's customers and crew members, but it will also decrease theft nationwide. Owner/operators interviewed by The State Journal-Register mentioned that the new soda system is predicted to create a more "relaxed dining experience" among other benefits.
"The crew pour system – which actually will use automated beverage systems to mechanically fill drink orders – minimizes human contact. Crew pour also eliminates theft and emphasizes the brand's new focus on creating a more relaxed dine-in experience complete with servers delivering meals to the table."
The elimination of McDonald's soda fountain machines will take place slowly over the next eight to nine years.