McDonalds in Belfast gets a digital makeover!

Before getting into this post I’m going to cast you back to last summer when my family and I took a trip to France. On our trip home we decided to get a McDonalds in the Charles de Gaulle airport {at the children’s request} and this was my first experience with McDonalds going digital and I’ll be honest, I didn’t know what to make of the many giant touch screen menus. However, like most of us Northern Irish folk, we can be quite skeptical of new things and big dislikers of change. But due to no tills, I had no choice but to go along with it.

Now, bringing you back to the Autumn of 2016 with a PING…one of our main McDonalds premises in Belfast was closed over the summer for four weeks due to getting a massive makeover. This is a huge time scale for McDonalds to be closed especially for a store that only ever closed two days out of the entire year {July 12th & Christmas day}. But the four-week closure was well worth it because the McDonalds on Donegall Place in Belfast went digital!

It had new decor on the walls, funky new sauce dispensers, a crazy slick serving counter that I’ll mention more later, a bit of a kitchen shift around and not to mention, the installation of giant touch screen menus. Look at our wee Belfast City catching up with the times! We’re always behind with these sort of things, so being invited along for a bit of a background story from the franchise owner Paul Connan & a show around the new up-with-the-times premises was pretty exciting.

Once I arrived I met a few others invited along for the same experience. I met Jeff from Belfast Times and Leanne Ross who is social & digital media blogger and also an award winning PR from A Cup of Lee. We were given our own McDonalds crew hats, aprons, and name badges and coming from someone who worked in the exact premises in her late teens, the uniforms are looking so much better than they did in the late 90’s!

McDonalds goes digital

Our visit kicked off with an Introduction about the refurbishment and reasons why they went digital and that was simple; to provide better customer service. The kiosks really bring this McDonald’s store into the 21st century and considering Northern Irish people are known to be the fussiest in the UK especially when it comes to special orders {would you believe it’s a shocking 40%}. Therefore the introduction of these kiosks makes getting orders right for the customers more effective and it provides a much smoother workflow for the kitchen staff, all resulting in a more pleasurable customer service experience.

McDonalds goes digital

Following our chat in the lobby upstairs we put on our aprons and hats, washed our hands and we were shown around the kitchen and counter areas of the restaurant. Remembering the days of working there as a fresh-faced 17 yr old, the kitchen looks so different and in a good way! In fact, in a great way! They have fancy drink dispensers, a super handy drinks cart called a B.O.A.T {which I cannot for the life of me remember what that stands for}, an insane crushed ice drinks machine that whips you up your drink order in seconds and even washes when it’s done. I mean, talk about speedy customer service!


The kitchen is so high tech that all I could do was think back to working there in the 90’s and having to manually cook and flip the burgers, having to clean the cooker tops by hand and so much more. Nowadays, though, you have none of that! The burger grills now know the size of the burger you place on the grill, they detect its size, therefore, knowing how long to cook it for. The drinks dispensers now detect when the cup is close to the top, therefore no more overflows and losing produce, and long gone are the days of timing the cooking of the food on the menu because now the technology literally does it all for you.

It’s all pretty cool, high-tech and even though we’re not huge regulars in McDonalds {maybe around once per month}, I really love how McDonalds going digital made the whole experience much faster, especially with a troop of hungry little ones to feed! Also, with their new look it doesn’t have a fast-food feel to it, so it feels very funky to eat in now and we really like that.

Thanks so much to McDonalds in Donegal Sq, Belfast, and Aiken PR for inviting me along for the experience and compensating me for my time also. 




  1. 04/10/2016 / 10:25 PM

    This looks amazing! I would actually love to go behind the scenes at Mac D! So jealous! x

    • 05/10/2016 / 11:08 AM

      It was actually really insightful and informative. The new tech in the store and kitchens makes the whole place feel so different. x

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