McDonald's starts table service in Germany in effort to reinvent itself

FRANKFURT (REUTERS) - McDonald's Corp is introducing table service in Germany as it reinvents itself as a "modern, progressive burger company" under new Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook, it said on Monday.

Diners at its Frankfurt Airport restaurant in Germany, one of the company's toughest markets, will now be able to be served at their table after placing an order either at the front counter, a digital kiosk or with waiter carrying a tablet PC.

"This is completely new for McDonald's," Thomas Brand, head of development and restaurant innovation for Germany, told a company magazine The special edition was handed out to guests at the reopening after renovation of the restaurant, McDonald's'biggest in Germany, which has more than 500 seats.

Easterbrook, a Briton and 47-year-old company veteran, is only the second non-American to take the job. His challenge is to halt a slide in sales around the world.

Weakness in France and Germany contributed to a 1.1 per cent decline in comparable sales in Europe in the fourth quarter. Britain, France, Russia and Germany together accounted for 67 per cent of European revenue in 2013.

McDonald's said earlier this month it would remake itself after competition from Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc, Chick-fil-A and other chains bit into U.S. restaurant sales. Easterbrook has already said McDonald's USA will switch to chicken raised with fewer antibiotics, putting it more in step with Chipotle and Chick-fil-A.