McDonald’s tests mobile ordering before national rollout

In this Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016, file photo, McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook demonstrates an order kiosk, with cashier Esmirna DeLeon, during a presentation at a McDonald's restaurant in New York's Tribeca neighborhood. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — McDonald’s has started testing mobile order-and-pay after acknowledging the ordering process in its restaurants can be “stressful.”

The company says it will gather feedback from the test before launching the option nationally toward the end of the year. It says mobile order-and-pay is available at stores in Monterey and Salinas, California, and will expand to Spokane, Washington next week.

The roll-out comes as customers increasingly seek out convenience through options like online ordering or delivery. McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook has noted the initial stages of visiting can be “stressful,” and the chain is making changes to improve the overall customer experience. That includes introducing ordering kiosks, which McDonald’s says can help ease lines at the counter and improve order accuracy — another frustration for customers.