Do you believe that your experience at McDonalds will be faster and/or better with a touch screen cashier?
The end could be in sight for a much maligned but nonetheless iconic job role, the McDonald's sales assistant, with the news that Ronald and Co will be fitting out 7,000 European outlets with touchscreens and swipe cards.
The news was broken by the Financial Times in an interview with the president of Maccy D’s European operations, Steve Easterbrook. Easterbrook said that ordering food had “not changed for 30 or 40 years” so its restaurants would be looking to modern technology.
The move aims to make the McDonald's experience more convenient, though we must say the original ‘give money, get burger’ was never really too taxing on the customer in the first place.
According to Easterbrook, bringing in touchscreens will mean that efficiency is increased. Swiping of Visa cards could also make life more simple for us increasingly catatonic fast food devourers, with the average transaction three to four seconds shorter for each customer. It makes instant gratification that little bit more instant.
For a company that flips burgers for around two million customers daily in Europe, this means even more money passing through its soon-to-be-automated tills.
It also means that, like the similar technology at supermarkets, the firm will be able to gather huge databases on customer ordering habits.
And it appears that other leading fast food chains are about to follow suit, with KFC informing us that it is currently trialling touchscreens in some UK stores. Though there are no Europe-wide plans just yet, they are “definitely looking at the technology”.
Burger King did not comment at time of publication.
Of course, while McDonald’s customers will have whole seconds shaved off the time between entering the shop and receiving their Happy Meal, it could mean jobs could be chopped.
Thankfully there are reports that the firm could be employing waiters at branches, which we presume is to provide Michelin level table service as well as to wipe down the greasy paw prints of those returning to touchscreens, to replenish their meagre ketchup supplies.
I guess I'm an old fart. I like a smiling face in front of me to take my order. Also, I fear getting behind someone who takes FOREVER to find the right buttons. Not taking cash anymore weirds me out too (that was in a different article reporting the same story). I don't want them collecting data on the fact that I go to their eatery 4 times per year and order a Filet o' Fish meal. That's creepy.
I dunno...around here it seems that McDonalds only hires those who can't get a job elsewhere. These people are slow, often wrong, and often rude. We order from McDonalds twice a month, probably, and there's usually something wrong.
It's super frustrating because our family now costs almost $40 to eat at McDonalds. I don't want to pay that much for "convenience" when it's not really convenient to get the wrong order every time.
Who knows where the errors are made though? Through the ordering system? Or during the making of the food?
I'm all for it. Will they have pictures and whatnot for the illiterate? I would hope so as I bet a decent percentage of their customer base can't read.
Anyone from my part of the country knows WAWA. They are one of those mega gas/convienance/hoagie/food places (though explaining them like that cheapens them, they are a good company and I like them). They moved to all touch screens a few years back and it is easy, I can get exactly what I want, and I feel like it has hastened things rather than slowing them up ~ since everyone is building a sandwich no one is standing there with a pencil and paper taking your order. I also love self check out lanes in grocery stores.
I never use cash so that part would not bother me. Honestly I don't understand whey McDonalds tracking their customer purchases/needs/wants is any different than the billion companies who already do it to you based on every purchase you make.
I like the idea.
I don't go that often to McD's but the last time I was there I felt a little rushed. As soon as I pulled up they wanted to know what I wanted and I add no idea...I was trying to read the big picture board, ask my kids questions, and make decisions while knowing someone was listening and waiting for me....they weren't rude about it but I was very self-conscious.
I don't know why you couldn't pay with cash still...our McD's has 2 car ordering lines that merge into one to pay. I asked them once how they knew who owed which amount (since one lane will sometimes move faster...) They said they had a camera that showed which amount per car. So, even if you touch-screened ordered, you'd think you could still pay at the window if necessary...though that does defeat the purpose for them of one less employee needed for that job.
Married DH '97
Mom to DS ('01), DD ('05), DD ('06), DD ('09), & DD ('11)
The closest I get to fast food is the Tim Hortons drive-thru, but I guess it's an okay idea. Not for me, personally, but I can see it working. It would drive me bananas to be behind someone who is slow or can't figure out how to work the machine. I'm not the most patient person in the world. I think it's like all the other self-serve checkouts and ATMs at the bank - designed to eliminate human error, extra time and ultimately the cost of employing all those 'real live people'.
Sorry, I'm a Luddite. It bothers me that the people who need jobs the most will be losing them over this. Plus, I am one of those people that want things that are never on the menu, like no ice and less bags.
-Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)
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