The fast-food giant aims to implement the change by the end of 2032
McDonald’s fans will eventually have to say goodbye to their favorite self-serve soda machines.
By the end of 2032, McDonald’s plans to phase out self-serve drink stations from its restaurants in the U.S., PEOPLE can confirm.
The company wants to ensure a uniform experience for customers and crew members across all ways of ordering, including McDelivery, the app, kiosk, drive-thru or inside the restaurant.
Fans of the Golden Arches shared their disapproving thoughts about the change on X (formerly known as Twitter). One user wrote, "Damn how else am I finna [sic] mix everything to my liking," referring to how customers like to blend different sodas together in one cup. Another simply posted, "Whyyyyy?????"
Some social media users pointed to the issue of refills. "How about the refills tho?" another user wrote on the app.
This isn’t the first time the chain has reformed its strategy. In recent years, McDonald’s has taken items off its menu, including the McRib — the barbecue pork sandwich with thinly sliced onions and dill pickles — which had been available on and off since its release in 1981.
The McRib went on a “farewell tour” in November 2022 at various locations. “Enjoy our famous pork sandwich as if it’s your last,” the restaurant’s website read at the time. The McRib has returned to menus after previous “farewell tours,” but only time will tell when or if it will ever come back.
In another discontinued instance, the Arch Deluxe was a sandwich that McDonald’s launched in 1996, hoping to appeal to adult customers and shed its kid-friendly image. It had a quarter pound patty, a round bacon slice, and dijonnaise sauce on a potato bun with seeds with lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese and ketchup. The sandwich was a flop and was removed from the menu in 2000.
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McDonald's also tweaked its menu offerings as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whole chicken breast pieces — battered and fried — were the main ingredient of the chicken selects, a product that McDonald’s introduced in 2004. They disappeared from the menu for four years, from 2013 to 2017, and came back with a new name: buttermilk crispy tenders. After McDonald’s simplified its menu due to the coronavirus, chicken selects were discontinued again in 2020.
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