McDonald’s Introduces Kiosks So Customers Can Have (Money-Saving) Non-Human Food Ordering

The automation revolution keeps picking up speed as the machines get better. Today’s news included a report from Fox Business about McDonald’s introduction of kiosks to replace human order takers in its restaurants. The company saw the writing on the wall last year with the noisy campaign to demand big pay raises for fast food workers and expedited its plans for more machines and fewer humans.

Below, the new McDonald’s food-ordering kiosks are large stand-alone items rather than the small tablets on tables some companies have chosen.

McDonaldsSelfServeKiosk

Of course, kiosks for ordering are just the start for replacing humans with automation in the restaurant business. In Italy, a clever entrepreneur has invented a pizza-making vending machine that mixes and bakes a fresh pie in minutes: just add money.

Sorry, Tony, pizza twirlers aren’t needed any more. Human workers are so 20th century.

A section of the new book Rise of the Robots is dedicated to automated fast food: Robotics Expert Martin Ford Explains the Automated Hamburger and Other Job-Killing Smart Machines.

Below, the burger of the future may be untouched by human hands and will unemploy even more restaurant workers.

If fast-food workers had half a brain, they would demand a policy change that might actually raise their wages: End Immigration. Surplus workers are the source of cheap labor for the business owners, and the increasing expansion of robots and automation means that America really doesn’t need to import immigrant workers anyway.

A lot of the reporting about the new McD kiosks featured the local angle and made the cost-saving change sound like a boon to the customer:

McDonald’s adds self-serve kiosks, Amarillo Globe-News, July 15, 2015

Big changes are underway under the golden arches.

On Tuesday, McDonald’s introduced its new Create Your Taste campaign to Amarillo.

The idea, which includes new menu items and self-serve kiosks, is being tested in certain areas in the country, with all Amarillo locations participating.

“The term ‘fast food’ is kind of going away,” McDonald’s Marketing Director Brandon Clavel said. “This is a whole new experience.”

The kiosks will give customers who don’t want to wait in line another option.

“If you don’t want to stand in line, you have these kiosks right here in front and everything from the menu is right there and it has not only the new stuff, but you can still get your traditional order if you want from here,” Double U Marketing President Wendi Swope said.

New staff members have also been added to introduce the fast-food chain’s new identity of a 
casual-dining restaurant, with a concierge waiting to greet guests and help with the kiosks, and servers who will bring customers’ orders to their tables and check on them.

“The experience is such a big deal,” Swope said. “It’s more of a restaurant’s feeling instead of a fast-food atmosphere.”

The menu changes include new ingredients like guacamole, tortilla strips, and spicy mayo, so guests can put together a burger any way they like. The menu also features new specialty burgers.

Marketing Coordinator Stephanie Khayat said she thinks people will like the new approach.

“The kiosk and servers are a new great way to get our guests the hospitality feeling,” she said.

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