It’s happening. Keep pushing minimum wages far above the market rate for “unskilled” labor and this sort of thing will inevitably happen. It’s a simple equation. If it makes more sense to employ a kiosk than it does a human worker a business will employ a kiosk. It’s not rocket science.
One could argue that a human gives certain added qualities to the restaurant that a kiosk can’t give. But on the whole do these benefits, a smile, a human voice, outweigh the wages, the management burden, and other liabilities of an employee?
For the record the first “real” job I had was at KFC when I was 15. I was terrible at it. Fast food work is hard. Seriously.
In fact, the company plans to upgrade 1,000 stores with this technology every quarter for the next eight to nine quarters.
“If you think about only two years ago, if you were a customer there were two ways you can get served at McDonald’s,” Easterbrook said. “You walked to the front counter and line up and take your drink and find a table or you go through the drive through. We’re introducing many options. They can order through mobile, they can come curbside and we’ll run it out as well as the existing traditional ways. You can pay in different ways and customize your food in different ways. I think we’re trying to add more choice and variety.”
International markets like Canada, Australia and the U.K. are already fully integrated with kiosk service and mobile ordering. Locations in France and Germany, too, are almost completely transformed with this new technology.