NSW McDonald’s franchisee given global go-ahead for “fancy” trial

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 6th February 2013

A McDonald’s in the New South Wales Illawarra region is offering table-service, crockery and cutlery in a world-first initiative.

Warilla McDonald’s franchisee Katia Dwarte told Australian Food News today that the trial has been hugely successful since it started on Monday this week.

Ms Dwarte was given approval to run the trial from McDonald’s head office in Chicago, after she and her husband Glenn began serving their elderly parents McDonald’s meals on with plates and cutlery every Friday. The store also has since hired a host for the full table-service experience.

“For six months we have been giving our elderly parents cutlery and bringing their meals out to them every Friday, and people started asking how they can have that too,” Ms Dwarte told Australian Food News.

“So we decided to offer it to everyone who dines in on our premium range. Franchisee trials are where some of the greatest ideas have come from,” Ms Dwarte added.

The McDonald’s in Warilla is offering table service on any dine-in purchase from the premium range including the Grand Angus, Big Mac and Chicken Deluxe.

Ms Dwarte said that although the store is trialling table service, she hopes that it will become a permanent service and some other stores may follow suit.

“We are just working from customer feedback and asking people to fill in surveys from their dining experience, so we may open it up to the whole menu if we receive positive feedback,” Ms Dwarte said.

The Warilla store, and some other stores in the region, are also currently trialling a mobile ordering app that allows customers to pre-order their food online before coming to collect it.

McDonald’s Australia Chief Executive Catriona Noble visited the Warilla store in December 2012, where she embraced the idea when it was pitched to her.

The Warilla table-service initiative has gained international attention, and is being promoted on a flyer designed and produced by the McDonald’s head office in Chicago.

McDonald's premium range is available for dine-in table service at McDonald's Warilla store.