McDonald's Irish operation is planning some changes to stay relevant

The company hopes that customisation options, Irish ingredients and new features like table service will keep punters sweet...

McDonald's Irish operation is planning some changes to stay relevant

McDonald's, YouTube

After McDonald's experienced a poor 2014 as a new 'fast casual trend' saw punters ditching the Golden Arches for high street alternatives like affordable Mexican chains, the company's new CEO Steve Easterbrook said that he was committed to turning McDonald's into a "modern, progressive, burger company."

"We will try new things. We will be more nimble," he added back in early 2015. One year on the future direction of the company is beginning to emerge with new initiatives like 'all day' breakfast in the US.

The future direction of McDonald's in Ireland is also beginning to reveal itself. Adrian Crean, managing director of McDonald's Ireland joined Bobby Kerr on Down to Business to discuss the challenges and opportunities that the company faces in 2016.

"It's about making the experience in McDonald's simple east and enjoyable for our customers," he said commenting on the overall changes that the company is working towards to stay "relevant" in Ireland.

Customisation is one word that came up on numerous occasions during the interview, changes to the company's cooking processes mean that food can be prepared as it is ordered, allowing more scope for personal touches. This will also involve a greater use of distinctive Irish ingredients.

"You can imagine from a customisation perspective perhaps we have an opportunity to bring some more of those local Irish ingredients to the fore within our restaurants.

"If a customer comes into our restaurant and they'd like to choose to have Charleville cheddar it's not beyond the possibility that we'll get there. If they want to choose Ballymaloe relish it's not beyond the possibility that we'll get there," he told Newstalk, adding that other customisations like adding bacon to a product should also be available.

The fast food group has already trialed table service at an outlet in Carrickmines in Dublin. Customers order from a touchscreen kiosk and the food is delivered to their table, this service will be rolled out to more outlets.

Mr Crean says that the company already contributes €200m to Ireland's agri-food industry through ingredients for restaurants in Ireland and abroad.

McDonald's currently has 89 restaurants in Ireland and employs close to 5,000 people.