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Swedes get first taste of McDonald's reservations

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Swedes get first taste of McDonald's reservations
A McDonald's in Sweden. Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT
16:20 CEST+02:00
McDonald's is giving Swedish customers the chance to reserve tables online later this month, as the Nordic nation becomes the first in the world to dish up the idea.
Swedes have a reputation for organizing and planning ahead and now the largest fast food chain on the planet is allowing them to prebook tables at more than 30 McDonald's restaurants.
 
The company announced on Monday that anyone living in Sweden would soon have the opportunity to reserve seating for up to four people using the popular website Bookatable.se
 
Tables will be available from Tuesday September 22nd, with online booking opening a week earlier, on September 15th.
 
But Staffan Ekstam, director of menu strategy and product development at McDonald's Sweden told The Local that Swedish efficiency wasn't the main drive for the project, explaining that Scandinavian branch of the firm had simply "found a suitable partner" to test the strategy ahead of other countries.
 
"We want to give burger lovers a unique experience at McDonald's. We already have table service in some restaurants in France and Germany...now we are going to check if this [online booking] works and if there is demand for it and then we will follow up on the functionality," he added.
 
"If it works then we will do more trials, but these will only be in Sweden for now," he explained.
 
 

McDonald's food is usually dished out over the counter. Photo: Mark Lennihan/TT/AP
 
The stunt comes as the company attempts to improve its image in the Nordics following a number of recent controversies.
 
A restaurant in Nödinge, in Ale municipality in Västra Götaland, was forced to close in August after 30 cases of severe illness were reported to the authorities, while last year a woman from Malmö purchased a cappuccino from the company that was tainted with cleaning chemicals.
 
The online trials also coincide with the launch of the 'Nya Maestro Classic' a new posh beef burger being offered by the firm in the face of growing competition from independent burger firms and food trucks in Sweden.
 
A spokesperson for Bookatable.se said that it already helped a wide range of food outlets from local neighbourhood cafes to restaurants with Michelin stars and was therefore "very happy" to be able to offer reservations at McDonald's for "a limited period".
 
"We urge everyone who wants to be inspired not to miss the opportunity to experience the new gourmet burger in the best way," said Jonas Carlen, Commercial Director at Bookatable Sweden, in a statement.
 
Rival Nordic burger firm Max announced earlier this year that it was linking up with one of the country's leading architectural firms as part of a mission to improve customer service.
 
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