McDonalds wants to avoid the kinds of service hiccups that have haunted digital debuts by companies such as Starbucks Corp.
Digital ordering has been challenging for many restaurant chains and their customers. Domino's Pizza Inc, now the industry leader, took years to perfect it. Starbucks' technology took far less time, but in January the chain said mobile orders poured in faster than they could be processed, creating backlogs that drove away time-crunched walk-in customers.
McDonald's sees mobile as a way to win back customers after four straight years of traffic declines, but the project is not without risks.