McDonald’s To Open Speedee Labs Within Company’s Chicago Global Headquarters

CHICAGO – McDonald’s Corporation is announcing the establishment of a new facility, Speedee Labs, which will be focused on driving the customer experience and supporting restaurant teams through innovation, at its global headquarters (MHQ) located at 110 N. Carpenter Street in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. An example of McDonald’s commitment to the city of Chicago, this new facility will bring teams from McDonald’s corporate office and the existing Innovation Center (IC) in Romeoville, IL together in a new innovative environment creating more opportunities for collaboration and end-to-end development of restaurant solutions and technologies. 

Introduced in 1948, McDonald’s Speedee Service System revolutionized the way a restaurant could operate. New kitchen processes streamlined crew responsibilities, making it easier than ever to serve customers efficiently. Now, through Speedee Labs, McDonald’s will continue to define tomorrow’s restaurant solutions. 

“Our customers’ and restaurant teams’ needs are changing, and meeting their expectations requires us to work together in new ways,” said Manu Steijaert, McDonald’s Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Officer. “Just as the creation of McDonald’s Customer Experience team brought key aspects of our business strategy together, the creation of Speedee Labs will enable more of our customers, restaurant teams, markets and global teams to contribute to our innovation, while driving growth and creating more seamless and memorable McDonald’s experiences.” 

The new facility will utilize a combination of McDonald’s existing footprint as well as an additional 15,000 square feet in leased space within the same building as MHQ, furthering McDonald’s innovation strategy and delivering solutions for a new generation of customers. Speedee Labs is expecting a phased opening to begin in the second half of 2023, which is when teams currently operating services out of the IC will relocate to MHQ. 

McDonald’s moved its headquarters from Oak Brook, IL to Chicago’s West Loop in 2018. In the 12 months ending June 30, 2022, MHQ saw more than 11,000 visitors to the building – a figure expected to increase with the creation of Speedee Labs. Additionally, in that same time span, McDonald’s System had a total impact of approximately $2B on the economy of Cook County. 

“I am thrilled that McDonald’s is continuing to bet on Chicago by adding Speedee Labs to their global headquarters,” said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “This new addition will draw even more visitors from around the world to our city, and I look forward to welcoming them as they come to collaborate and innovate with this iconic brand.” 

Since opening in 1995, McDonald’s IC has offered live restaurant testing – and more recently remote, and simulation-based training – to help the global McDonald’s System refine operations and develop new solutions to improve experiences for customers and restaurant teams in nearly 40,000 restaurants around the world. The IC has long been a hub for collaboration among the company, suppliers and franchisees on customer-facing solutions and driving innovation within the System. Many strategic initiatives for the McDonald’s System, including streamlined kitchen processes, updated cooking methods, McDelivery and Mobile Order and Pay, were developed or tested at the Innovation Center.  

McDonald’s plans to relocate all jobs from its Innovation Center in Romeoville to MHQ’s Speedee Labs, adding to its Cook County workforce. In total, in the 12 months ending June 30, 2022, the McDonald’s System supported more than 14,000 jobs in Cook County.