McDonald’s Preston: inside look at the new ‘delivery only’ kitchen on Chain Caul Way

Take an exclusive inside look into the newest McDonalds to open in Preston and find out what's so different...

Last week, a new McDonald’s delivery kitchen opened on Chain Caul Way for app delivery orders only.

The site, which is the first McDelivery to open in Lancashire, cannot be visited by members of the public, but instead is only used by McDonald’s staff and the food couriers.

As the public cannot take a look around themselves, digital reporter Aimee Seddon was invited down to do just that for you, and to speak to some of the staff about how the new venture has been going.

Why has the McDelivery site opened?

Nigel Dunnington, who is the franchise owner of 18 McDonald’s restaurants in Lancashire and elsewhere, said: “Over the last two or three years – I guess post Covid – delivery has become a really big deal… McDonalds five years ago was eat in, take away, Drive Thru, now McDonalds is eat in, take away, Drive Thru, Click and Serve, app orders and delivery so it became as a customer – and as someone running the business – as the people [working there], it became more challenging to incorpate the delivery within the business.”

With the opening of the McDelivery site, the franchise has cut off delivery at the nearby McDonalds on Riversway, hoping to split the focus better on the eat in vs delivery experience at either site.

Nigel added: “It just gives a better experience for our couriers in this restaurant, and I think talking to a couple of people who I know, it’s giving a better experience to our customers in our Riversway restaurant.

"[The McDelivery site] is no different really, it clearly doesn’t look like a McDonalds… I think the couriers prefer it because it’s easier to get home, easier to get off, they don’t have to interact necessarily with the customers, they just want to come in, collect their food, go deliver their food, earn some money and this system I think helps that.”

Has it affected customer service?

As well as helping to improve relationships with, and working conditions for, the McDonalds delivery drivers, franchise supervisor Alex Chattaway says they have already seen the new McDelivery site having a positive influence on their customer service ratings.

Alex, who is in charge of five resturants including the McDelivery kitchen, said: “Previously… we were struggling to be above three stars on average across Deliveroo, Just Eat and Uber but since we’ve opened this restaurant, we’ve managed to get our reviews above four. Our customers are telling us that the exprience from the delivery kitchen is better, more accurate, and they’re getting their orders quicker so for us it’s win win!”

How is the store different for kitchen staff?

Second assistant at the site Deborah Moody, said: “It’s nice to be able to focus on the delivery drivers and the customers we don’t see face to face. I know in a lot of the other stores, they can be quite busy and the drivers can feel like they get pushed to the side but here it’s nice because even the drivers come in and say to us ‘oh it’s brilliant’ – the customers are getting a better exprience, they’re getting a better experience.

"[In the kitchen], it’s a different pace I suppose to if you had customers coming at you from all angles like inside the restaurant, the drive-thru, so it’s nice to be able to concentrate on one set group and improve their experience.”

Deborah was talking to the Post whilst sitting in the staff room – which comes equipped with ample seating areas, a plasma screen TV and kitchen area.

Commenting on the new staff room, Deborah added: “It’s lovely, it’s massive!”

What do the drivers think of the new site?

Akbar Ali, who has been a food courier since 2001, said: “We’re really enjoying doing deliveries from this place compared to the other sites, the staff are so good, the parking is good and we don’t have any problems here.”

Could there by more McDeliveries in Lancashire soon?

Franchise owner Nigel said: “It’s [only been] a week, it’s kind of still a test but it’s something that I think may have legs moving forward… We will look at it, evaluate it and decide what we’re going to do with it going forward.”

When asked if he would welcome more McDeliveries in Lancashire, Nigel said “I’m not sure really, possibly at some point in the Blackpool area – deliveries strong up there … but probably not in the Preston area … a lot will depend on the success of this.”