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McD’s expands home-delivery test in Australia

McDonald’s is expanding the test of home delivery it began in July in Australia, a proving ground for innovations that often make their way to the chain’s U.S. operations.

In addition to enlisting 20 more stores in the trail, McDonald’s stepped up its efforts to publicize the new service by using high-end sports cars as delivery vehicles. The Ferraris and Lamborghinis are adorned with McDonald’s logos and bear the chain’s signature red and gold colors.

In the markets that added delivery in July, motor scooters were used.

Australia was the incubator for McCafe, the McDonald’s coffee program that was later introduced in virtually all U.S. stores. More recently, Australian stores began testing an upscale, assembled-to-order burger that many believe is headed for American shores.

This week, McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson said the chain will loosen the reins on franchisees starting in January to encourage more localization of menus and marketing. Operators will be given more latitude to adopt products and promotions that are offered anywhere within the McDonald’s system, he explained.

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