There was a time when the Big Mac was the most forward-thinking burger available. McDonald's has been successful for decades, but that is no reason for the company to rest on its laurels
if it wants to remain the market leader. Therefore, it stands to reason that an R&D centre would play a significant role in the operation of the company.
To that aim, the company's Chicago headquarters will soon be the site of Speedee Labs, a dedicated innovation space. In addition to being the name of McDonald's 1948 service system designed
to speed up service, the term comes from the company's pre-Ronald McDonald mascot. The chain's current innovation team, based in Romeoville, Illinois, and the corporate team will be able to
work together in the about 15,000 square foot Lab. In the second half of 2023, it is scheduled to debut. In a statement, McDonald's chief customer officer Manu Steijaert said,
"The introduction of Speedee Labs will empower more of our customers, store teams, markets, and global teams to contribute to our innovation, thereby driving growth and
providing more seamless and memorable McDonald's experiences. McDelivery, mobile order and pay, and other recent innovations at the company are all the result of previous efforts
at the current Innovation Center. We have no idea what the upgraded laboratories will produce.
However, Mickey D's has provided us with some hints. In 2021, the restaurant formed a strategic relationship with IBM to improve both its automated order-taking technology
(the touchscreens that allow customers to place their own orders) and its drive-thru service. Additionally, the company's reward programme has shifted its emphasis to its mobile app and
its partnership with technology partner Ayden. MyMcDonald's Rewards, the company's first nationwide loyalty programme in the US, was introduced through mobile app in the previous year.