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McDonald's Is Making a Big Change To Its Drink Stations

The change will impact customers who order or eat in the dining rooms.

Brace yourselves, McDonald's fans. The fast-food giant is reportedly planning to implement a major nationwide change that will impact how customers get their soft drinks.

McDonald's is going to phase out the self-serve beverage stations in its restaurant dining rooms across the United States, quick-service restaurant publication QSR Web reported late last week, citing an email from a company spokesperson. Customers will have quite some time to get used to the change since the transition is supposed to be completed by 2032, roughly nine years from now. But once the self-serve drink stations are finally eliminated, fans will have lost a longstanding feature that has become synonymous with the McDonald's restaurant experience.

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On the other hand, the loss of the self-serve stations won't have too large of an impact on customers who typically order in the drive-thru or the McDonald's app, since employees fill drinks for those types of orders.

mcdonalds soda fountain
Moab Republic / Shutterstock

Per QSR Web, the change is aimed at creating a more consistent experience for McDonald's employees and customers, regardless of where and how they order their food. Local Illinois newspaper The State Journal-Register reported this week that some stores in the Midwestern state have already started implementing the change.

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This isn't the only major change that McDonald's has announced this year. In April, the chain revealed that it was rolling out several major upgrades for its signature burgersthe Big Mac, McDouble, classic cheeseburger, double cheeseburger, and hamburger. The changes include using softer toasted buns, cooking onions directly on the burger patties for a "juicier, caramelized flavor," ensuring that all cheese reaches optimal meltiness, and adding even more of that signature sauce to its Big Macs. McDonald's plans to implement the upgrades at all restaurants in the United States by 2024. 

In late July, the chain also announced plans for a brand-new restaurant concept named after CosMc, a fictional, six-armed alien character that appeared in ads in the 1980s and 1990s. McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski told investors during a July earnings call yesterday that CosMc's will be a "small format concept with all the DNA of McDonald's but its own unique personality." They plans to test the new restaurant brand "in a small handful of sites in a limited geography beginning early next year," Kempczinski said.

Zoe Strozewski
Zoe Strozewski is a News Writer for Eat This, Not That! A Chicago native who now lives in New Jersey, she graduated from Kean University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Read more about Zoe
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