Already popular in many countries, McDelivery will enter a test phase in one of the most overweight communities Down Under
Drive-thrus may soon go the way of the typewriter in Australia. In an age of delivered-to-your-door diapers and effortless food ordering, a major fast food chain has its sights set on convenience and your home address punched into its GPS.
Following successful trial runs near Sydney, the McDonald’s Corporation and Australian food delivery site Menulog have partnered to test McDelivery in Hervey Bay, located in the northeast corner of the state of Queensland. While not yet available in most of the Western world, McDelivery has been enjoying success in a number of Asian, Middle Eastern, and Latin American countries since 1993.
As Australia’s Business Insider revealed, one out of four children and two out of three adults in the Hervey Bay area are overweight or obese, while the combined overweight or obesity rate in current Queensland service areas is 60%.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported that backlash to the trial has included staunch opposition by the Australian Medical Association; “[t]he population is already extremely overweight,” says AMA Queensland president Dr. Shaun Rudd. “It’s not a really good place to have easier access to junk food,” he added, and, as dietitian Tara Diversi told Metro UK, the minimum-order requirement of AU$25 on Menulog will likely encourage larger orders. As to the companies’ choice for service areas, Dr. Rudd explains,
It’s pretty sad. These large corporations have a look where they’re going to get the most bang for their buck and they choose places like that. I think unfortunately they’ll sell more food and that means there’s going to be more burgers and more fries eaten by the population there, and they are already extremely overweight.
As the ABC noted, the burger giant cites the increase of Hervey Bay’s population size (rather than that of its residents) as motivating the move; Chris Grant, corporate communications manager for McDonald’s Australia, adds that “Hervey Bay was selected as the location for this trial after looking at factors including population growth and accessibility to ensure efficient delivery for customers and the operations of the restaurant.” Regarding the test’s nutritional impact, he offered reassurance on behalf of McDonald’s:
Customers choosing to take advantage of this trial service can order from a nearly full range of menu items, including burgers, French fries, salads or wraps, and as always can review comprehensive nutrition and ingredient information on our website.
Mr. Grant also said that the company would consider extending the delivery service after the trial’s completion.
Images: McDonald’s Corporation