McDonald's recently partnered with a company named Piper to deploy beacons across several test restaurants for four weeks. The beacons automatically allowed users of the restaurant's Android and iOS apps to receive coupons, alerts and more, if they were in close proximity to a McDonald's location and accepted the beacons. It's the sort of mobile alerts that other chains, such as Starbucks, have been using, and it's working in McDonald's favor.
Piper said on Thursday that, during the four-week trial, more than 18,000 people took advantage of coupons that popped up on their mobile devices as they walked near a McDonald's location. Ultimately, the company said McDonald's noted an 8 percent increase in McChicken sales and a 7.5 percent increase in McNuggets, as opposed to the prior month with Piper's beacons weren't being used to broadcast deals.
One McDonald's franchise owner said that the goal is to continue to deploy the system in other restaurants. It's also being used to allow passersby to apply for jobs within the restaurant from their mobile devices, and for other customers to send in customer service notes via text message. As mobile payment options continue to increase, and we rely on our smartphones more and more for coupons, food purchases and more, we suspect this type of use-case for becaons will continue to become more popular.