McDonald's has a long history with innovation in customer experience, but the long-lived restaurant franchise knew it couldn't just sit back and relax if it wanted to continue to carry this legacy forward. "We're never just going to take things for granted," says Jenni Dill, Chief Marketing Officer at McDonald's Australia. "We're always going to be searching for and striving for the better experience, the better business results."
That meant embracing the latest network technologies and incorporating big data into their business operations. It's no small task to bring new technology into a business with 850 locations nationwide ranging from rural areas to metropolitan precincts, especially when it needs to deliver the reliability that goes with McDonald's reputation of exceptional customer experience.
Enter Telstra. "Telstra has a scale to match a business of our size," says McDonald's Australia Chief Information Officer Scott Green. "Everywhere we are, Telstra can be." The company-wide networking solution was rolled out in two stages. First McDonald's started using Telstra Air in all of its 850 restaurants, so that customers could enjoy fast free Wi-Fi connections, then they worked with Telstra to build a new fibre-based network on the backend to augment that Telstra Air solution.
This provided reliable high-speed connections for staff communication over Telstra IP Telephony (TIPT) as well as the foundation for all of McDonald's customer-facing and back-office functions.
"We use the network technology across all our platforms," says McDonald's licensee Mark Halford, "from customer-facing products such as digital menu boards through to crew-training applications, through to devices where we order food and paper into our business."
The better technology and faster internet not only makes life easier for employees, corporate staff, and suppliers; it also attracts new customers to the restaurant franchise, many of whom are eager to make the most of the high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity, and it increases the time people spend inside.
Dill notes that the solution offers "an amazing platform for future growth and future innovation," adding also that "the best is yet to come" in this partnership between Telstra and McDonald's.
For Halford, the big takeaway is that the new fibre network future proofs their business. "No matter what technologies come along," he explains, "this new foundation will allow us to adopt these new technologies."