The days of filling your own drink at McDonald’s are on their way out.
The fast-food giant is removing self-serve soda fountains from all U.S. restaurants by 2032, a move it says will provide a more consistent experience for customers and crew, according to a statement provided to McClatchy News.
Drink machines have been a staple in McDonald’s dining rooms for decades, but customers will have to schlep to the counter for a refill in the future. Counter-drink refills are the norm at other fast-food establishments including Chick-fil-A.
“Free refills are a big draw for people,” Kim Derringer, operator of three McDonald’s franchises in Illinois, told the newspaper. “I don’t see anything taking that away.”
The switch also comes as customers increasingly order their food online or via third-party sites including Uber. Digital sales account for about 40% of McDonald’s sales, CNN reported, citing a recent earnings report.
The restaurant didn’t cite a specific reason for the change, but said it’s “always listening to our fans and adjusting our menu based on what they crave,” according to a statement.
“We know goodbyes are never easy – but fans can still satisfy their sweet tooth with our iconic Chocolate Chip Cookies, Baked Apple Pie and frozen desserts,” the spokesperson said.