Though one might think McDonald’s sells hamburgers and French fries, the Golden Arches really deals in the business of convenience. A pioneer of mass-market fast-food, the company has long allowed customers to chow down on a super-sized meals from the comfort of their cars. But now Mickey D’s is finally joining the 21st century, announcing the addition of a long awaited mobile order-and-pay app in 2017.
According to Business Insider, the app will be available in the U.S.—as well countries like Canada, France, Australia, and the U.K.—by next year. But by 2018, the app will service up to 25,000 restaurants worldwide. The idea is to decrease the amount of time customers have to wait for their food, while allowing the restaurant employees to be more efficient and cut down on botched orders.
Though it’s odd that McDonald’s, the world’s largest fast-food chain, has been slow to launch a mobile order app, companies like Starbucks, Chick-fil-A have—and, more recently, Shake Shack—have found success by allowing customers to place orders via their smartphones.
"Many customers dislike the process of selecting what they want, standing in line and ordering, and then waiting for their food," Neil Saunders, the CEO of a consulting firm called Conlumino, told Business Insider. "It is the slow bit of fast food. As we have seen with Starbucks, many would prefer to pick what they want in advance and then come and pick the products up when they are ready."
While McDonald’s is now playing catch-up with the rest of the industry, the company’s new app didn’t just come together overnight. Last summer, McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook mentioned the possibility of a mobile app, and tested the service in select markets earlier this year.