McDonald’s Gone Mobile: How the Fast Food Chain Created Its Mobile App

When it comes to “keeping up with the Joneses” in a time when anyone and everyone has the entire world at their fingertips, both online businesses and physical brick-and-mortar businesses must plug into a consistent access point to hold the attention spans of their consumers. That access point is the consumer’s mobile phone, powered by mobile development software.

Mobile apps have changed the customer satisfaction game. No longer are quick-service restaurants (QSR) limited to in-person and drive-thru interactions. They can establish relationships with customers through special promotions and dialogue thanks to an app. Customer satisfaction strategies can be implemented on-demand. The fast food, casual dining world that QSRs reside in has reinvented itself to adapt to our current mobile world. E-commerce platforms inform their business objectives, as well as provide QSRs the tools with which they can create a satisfying and effective mobile commerce experience for users. E-commerce platforms support multichannel integration and service, which is perfect, considering mobile devices are a significant channel that all businesses should consider when creating their digital presence. The convenience, privacy and opportunities for personalization that consumers experience when ordering online are amplified in mobile applications.

McDonald’s, for all its mobile application growing pains, has realized it would benefit from creating an online and mobile app experience that goes beyond perfunctory. Enterprise Innovation, which provides up-to-date information about strategic technology decisions, ideas and best practices, explains that “Obviously, the global foodservice retailer has a compelling interest in technology, and not just to make operations more efficient, but to take services to another level across the different markets it serves all over the world.” Specifically, McDonald’s is taking cues from its QSR competitors like Chipotle, Domino’s, Burger King and Taco Bell, which all have incredible apps as well as incredible campaigns that go hand-in-hand with those apps.

The fascinating thing about the partnership McDonald’s has with Amazon Web Services is that, unlike competitors, McDonald’s went with the arduous process of stitching together its own e-commerce platform. For direct comparison: Chipotle is built on Sequence, Domino’s on Future PlatformsKirin framework, Burger King on Magento and Taco Bell on Deutsch.  

The search for an e-commerce platform proved fruitless for McDonald’s, so it stitched together 35 Amazon Web Services to make its own massive platform. This is in direct response to its aims to modernize, to inject consistency of customer experience no matter where the customer is located and to improve the agility and speed of the company’s global food operations. Not surprisingly, the decision to create a home-grown and cloud-driven platform that can support the size of the fast food giant “has been a project on a staggering scale,” Australian technology-focused publication, iTnews explained.  

But why go through the trouble of constructing its own platform? As mentioned above, Burger King turned to the flexibility and code freedom of Magento Enterprise Edition to handle its requirements of high performance, scalability and robust B2B functionality. For McDonald’s, access to cloud storage was front and center. That’s where Amazon Web Services shined. Gergets explained that AWS offered the “reliability and the capacity to support the needs of our digital platform.” It didn’t hurt that “the other partners we have work very well with AWS, their ecosystem and their platform.” According to Gergets, the stitched-together platform utilized more than 35 AWS services:

For access management and monitoring:

Have you used any of the Amazon Web Services that McDonald’s has cobbled together? Have you used them individually or in conjunction with each other? We’d love to hear from your perspective, whether that’s one of a small-business owner who is changing up their e-commerce game or an enterprise company who has just begun its e-commerce transformation.

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