McDonald’s has revolutionised the way fast food is consumed across the world.

McDonald’s has revolutionised the way fast food is consumed across the world. With 304 restaurants across 42 cities in West & South India and more than 10,000 employees, Hardcastle Restaurants Pvt Ltd (HRPL) manages McDonald’s restaurants and business functions in West & South India.

With an aim to open 100 to 200 new restaurants by 2022, Akshay Jatia, Director- IT & Brand Extensions at Hardcastle Restaurants, is responsible for spearheading the company’s digital initiatives.

Before launching a new product or promotion in the market, the company simulates and analyses the data and then brings a product in the market. HRPL gains insights from data collected through POS solutions. Using Product Mix Simulation, the company plans all its promotions, understands consumer trends as well as the feedback on the promotions deployed.

“We know about our performing restaurant and the best-performing products and we’ve been able to utilize all the transactional data that we get in an efficient way,” says Jatia.

To enhance the customer experience, the company deployed self-ordering and payments kiosks in more than 50 restaurants where consumers can place their order at this kiosk rather than going to a teller at the counter. By 2022, the restaurant chain plans to implement kiosks across 100 plus outlets.

According to Jatia, in the restaurants where kiosks are deployed, up to 50% of the transactions are coming through kiosks. Also, 25% of customers spend more time in customising their orders, which also helps increase the average ticket size of the order.

Using tech to save cost and energy at the restaurants

The company is using technology to efficiently manage its energy utilization. An Energy Management System (EMS) has been deployed across all the restaurants which monitors and optimizes the usage of gas, diesel and electricity.

“The IoT-enabled EMS has helped us increase profitability and also significantly cut down on carbon footprint. If the readings are going up or down they can quickly take action and they don’t need to really rely on manual processes anymore,” says Jatia.

The wireless IoT enabled module is kept close to the power sources of relevant equipment. Later, the data is pulled and published onto a centralised dashboard.

“It enables cost-saving once you’re able to proactively understand what’s going on and then take decisions. It also enhanced strategic clarity from a utility point of view in our P&L,” Jatia says.

By deploying this solution, HRPL has been able to save around 28 lakhs units of electricity, close to 2,400 cylinders, and reduced carbon footprint by around 2,300 tonnes.

Going digital for customer engagement

To increase user engagement, an omnichannel app has been developed where discount-driven promotions are offered to customers. The app has become a new revenue stream, driving footfalls to restaurants through tech personalization and engagement.

The app has resulted in a 60 per cent increase in active user base month on month and the app has more than 2.3 million downloads already.

Users can also order food through the app where the company delivers it to their homes. McDonald’s delivery business has grown six-fold over the last four years due to these initiatives.

“Though the omnichannel app has a global skeleton that McDonald’s globally work on. However, the delivery section in the app is completely in-house and produced by our local team within HRPL,” adds Jatia.

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