McDonald's replacing cashiers with touch screens

Does anyone else worry about these jobs being gradually replaced by technology? I know this isn’t a new phenomenon but where will it end?

Meh. There will always be jobs and if there’s one thing I’ve realized, you cannot forego convenience to protect jobs.

McDonald’s is one of the most efficient customer-service businesses I can think of. God, if only government could be that efficient.

Something doesn’t seem right with that article. I understand the idea behind literally shaving seconds off each transaction. It makes sense. But it’s simply not possible to shave three to four seconds off each transaction if you’re going to get rid of cashiers and let the customers have access to touchscreens. I have hard time believing that a customer can translate what they want into keystrokes faster then a cashier can do it. Frankly, I don’t think they could do it it twice the amount of time a cashier can do it.
My guess is either the article is correct and they’re planning to replace each cashier driven register with several customer driven touchscreens or the article is wrong and they’re simply upgrading (in the UK) to touchscreens and attempting to phase out cash as a payment method.

Unfortunately that seems to be the only article I can find so I’m having a hard time double checking it.

I can’t imagine that this will save time, unless they can have several of these machines to replace each cashier. However, I think it might easily save money. Wages are always a large expense for business, and this could eliminate several positions in each restaurant.

This is going to get McDonald’s’s employees thinking about what work they can perform which a computer cannot.

It would never work. Customers are stupid. They’ll stand there forever, holding up lines, trying to figure out how to hold the pickles or get eight extra packets of dipping sauce.

Another skeptic here. Strongly suspect that the touch screens will slow down the ordering process. Fumbling for glasses, squinting at the screens, miskeyed items…bleh.

I’m more concerned about them phasing out cash as an acceptable payment method. This would be a huge mistake in my part of the world, where a significant portion of their customer base simply do not have bank accounts, much less debit or credit cards. Call me old fashioned, but I think a person with cash money in their pocket ought to be able to buy lunch at Mickey-D’s.

Really not buying the “improve the customer experience” BS. The move is obviously intended to improve the bottom line experience of the company/local franchisee. Fuck customers. The goal is to separate them from their money and get them out the door ASAP.

An Arby’s around here had something like this maybe 20 years ago. They got rid of them because they were more trouble than they were worth.

why get rid of cash payments? Are the cash accepting machines so expensive nowadays? I mean over in New York the entire transportation system is running on them.

If machines that accept bills are too expensive they could just accept quarters and people could buy them from the bank for this purpose.

you misunderestimate the Europeans. :wink:

Customers had a hard time when the first drive through window was invented. People parked their cars in front of the building, honked their horns and waited for the carhop to serve them. Customers adapt. McDonald’s and other fast food restaurants have done their best over the past few decades to eliminate humans from the equation. Employees at these places are literally cogs so this move doesn’t surprise me.


PS: I don’t mean anything negative about employees at these places. I just mean that they’ve been treated as cogs for a long time now.

How are they going to find computers that don’t understand Engish?

Some (not all) of the local Jack in the Box outlets have installed ordering kiosks, and my impressions from watching people try to use them bear out both of the above observations. Very few customers manage to get their orders right the first time, and end up either starting over or giving up and going to the cashier. Last time I was in I noticed that they were offering two free JitB almost-but-not-quite-entirely-unlike-tacos for each combo meal ordered at the kiosk, which indicates — to me — that the acceptance has been something less than overwhelming.

As for me, I’m a troll who refuses to have anything to do with the infernal contraptions.

The one of these in my neighborhood Jack in the Box. I won’t use it because it reads all the options to you. If you could shut off the damn voice I’d consider trying again.

Thank God. The less human interaction I have to slog through in my day-to-day life, the better. Good riddance.

And those McDonald’s employees will still be needed to mop the floors and clean the toilets.

If the lines at the Uscans at the grocery store are any indication, this won’t go over as well as they think it will.

I’ve always thought the touchscreens Sheetz uses to order food works quite well, but maybe that shouldn’t count as an example.

WTF? You’re on a message board where you interact with people. You flat out volunteer for human interaction.

I always wanted this type of device myself, but that was when I thought everybody ordered things right off the menu.

It will mean people will have to order directly from the menu, which from the point of view of the shop is a good thing.