McDelivery: Because Walking to McDonald’s Is Too Much Effort
McDelivery is a service that McDonald’s provides overseas to ease the most painful, effortful step in the McDonald’s consumption process: leaving your house and going to McDonald’s to pick up your food.
Since launching in Singapore in 2005 as a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week service, McDelivery has been a big hit, spawning spinoffs in India, Kuwait, Pakistan, and more. According to Alexa, mcdelivery.se is the 93rd biggest domain in Singapore.
Their Singaporean pitch: “Yearning for your favourite McDonald’s breakfast while curled up in bed? How about delicious, piping hot Chicken McNuggets at 12 midnight while you’re on the net? Or perhaps you’re just looking for a quick way to feed a bunch of friends who’ll be dropping by for a visit. Have no worries. With McDelivery™ 24/7 (the only delivery service that never sleeps!), McDonald’s Singapore offers you the convenience of ordering your next meal online, quickly and easily.”
Which rolls us towards an overwhelming question: when will this thing come to the U.S. en masse?
Oddly enough, we may have actually pioneered it. A 1994 New York Times article announces the Manhattan launch of a McDonald’s service unofficially titled “McDelivery” by a company rep. According to the article, the pilot program consisted of 40 New York McDonald’s making deliveries from 8am to 8pm, and was more geared towards office workers than home eaters:
Accelerating down the fast-food superhighway, McDonald’s is about to begin making home and office deliveries from 40 of its Manhattan restaurants, with orders taken over the phone at a single computerized clearinghouse. Starting next week, it will be possible to call in to a sort of burger hot line — the number is 337-FAST — and have a bacon double cheeseburger or a fish sandwich delivered to your door from whatever McDonald’s is closest.
The new plan, executives say, reflects consumers’ increased expectations in service, even coddling.
“We’re trying to recapture some of the business we lose when it rains, when it snows, or when it’s 105 degrees and nobody wants to go outside,” said David C. Hawthorne, president of McDonald’s Manhattan Delivery Service, a consortium of franchise owners who are operating the service with financial support from the McDonald’s Corporation.
McDonald’s also tried out home delivery in Virginia. Dialing “337-FAST” in New York currently gives you the private line of a man who is no doubt not inundated by confused and disappointed McDelivery customers, ever. At that, it doesn’t seem inconceivable that McDonald’s would expand McDelivery in the U.S.A., at least in large cities: After all, there are enough days when there is weather, or a temperature, that there’s got to be an opportunity in there somewhere.
Update: An informal poll of our (New York-based) office reveals that McDonald’s still delivers in several locations around New York, but the service is “very slow,” and “it would be better to just go to actual McDonald’s.” So: there you have it.
Below, a few McDelivery commercials from around the world:
(P.S.: There is a courier package delivery service called McDelivery in Washington State, but we don’t think that the kangaroo-logoed greater Puget Sound Area service is sanctioned by the Golden Arches.
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