The Futuristic McDonald's In Sydney Airport Has Food Flying Down Walls

There is seemingly no end to modernization and technological enhancements when it comes to the fast-food industry. From pizza vending machines to super-fast AI drive-thru's you may be thinking that you have seen it all. However, one trip to the Sydney International Airport may have you doing a double take. Although spotting the golden arches at a major international airport is nothing new — in fact, from Denver to Hong Kong, you are sure to see McDonald's serving hungry travelers — the location in Sydney is truly unique. The lean, two-story McDonald's was created with the ordering counter and kiosks on the main floor with the kitchen set above it behind towering, transparent, yellow glass. Through the glass, you can witness employees bustling around to get orders filled; but, at such a height, there had to be a unique and innovative solution to get the orders into the hungry consumers' hands.

To accomplish this logistical task and keep within the tight quarters of this particular location, design firm Landini Associates incorporated a winding, conveyor-like transport track that grabs the bags of meals and deftly swings them down to the main floor where employees can unclip them and then hand them off to the customer. The whole process appears mesmerizing in the company's Youtube video and looks not unlike a flying roller coaster design — except, instead of carrying screaming thrillseekers, the track holds steaming meals.

Another McDonald's restaurant that seems ahead of its time

The futuristic McDonald's restaurant located at the Sydney International Airport is definitely an interesting and fresh break from the standard locations you will see around the world. But, because of its unique locale, it is unlikely that the same design would be repeated for other prospective establishments. However, in Fort Worth, Texas, there lies a McD's that is testing a new process that could be the future of drive-thru as we know it.

This particular restaurant caters specifically to the on-the-go customer and has a traditional drive-thru lane as well as a specialized "Order Ahead Lane," as per Today. This lane allows customers to pre-order through the McDonald's app. A locator lets the establishment know when you're getting closer so that your meal can be ready just in time for pick up, which is through a handy conveyor belt from the take-out window. But that's not where the innovation ends. The inside of the location is not filled with tables, counters, or chairs; instead, there are ordering kiosks and pick-up windows where customers can easily grab their food to go. It's also completely automated, which means that there is no room for human error and you won't be seeing free smiles on their particular menu as there are no human employees taking the orders. 

If this experimental form of fast food takeout works well, who's to say what other inventions will pop up to change how you get your next quick meal?