US fastfood chain McDonald’s is testing a system that enables customers to place their own orders at touch-screen electronic terminals.


In a move that could eventually become standard at many of the company’s restaurants, customers will be able to place their orders using the touch-screen kiosk and then either pick up their food at a separate area or have it brought to their table, reported Reuters.


It is the latest initiative taken by McDonald’s in an attempt to improve service and win back customers.


The company has been testing variations of the system for more than a year and will soon have a form of the technology available at a total of 13 stores in the Denver, Colorado and Raleigh, North Carolina areas. The stores also give customers the option of placing orders with a salesperson.


“It’s basically all about choice, about allowing our customers the opportunity to use McDonald’s the way they want to,” Gene Mitchell, a senior director of operations with the company, told Reuters. “It’s all done with pictures. It’s very easy for the customer to use.”


The kiosks are currently cash only, but McDonald’s will soon test kiosks that accept debit and credit cards, Mitchell said.


McDonald’s will decide by the end of 2003 whether or not to further roll out the system, he said.


“We’ll then decide what the value is, what the benefits are, and then we’d make a decision on whether we’ll move forward,” Mitchell said.