McDonald’s has given the much-desired Christmas gift to its Texas customers. The fast-food giant unveiled its first-in-itself “automated store” in Texas, where customers can now order food with a mobile app or a kiosk. The “grab and go” facility will let to enjoy your best meals without wasting any time. It is dedicated towards increasing accuracy and order speed. However, some worried social media users believe that the move will cut millions of jobs.
What Does McDonald’s Automated Store Offer?
Machines taking over human labor is nothing new in the world of technological evolution, and McDonald’s has just done it. The American fast-food giant unveiled its first-in-itself “automated store” in Texas. Customers can place orders through kiosks or an app, with zero human contact.
The new test restaurant near Fort Worth, Texas will include “an automatic conveyer belt to bring orders to your window”. The “grab and go” facility is a part of McDonald’s “Accelerating the Arches” plan, which is aimed at growing and innovating the customer experience. There will be no seats and tables to dine at.
the fully automated mcdonald’s simply having a conveyor belt from the kitchen where humans are very much cooking the burgers behind the scenes has amazing parallels with ai art https://t.co/t2QNK4ki70
— laura (@freezydorito) December 22, 2022
If we compare this facility to other McDonald’s, the store is smaller and its primary goal is to increase accuracy and order speed. In this manner, customers can grab their favourite meals before even reaching the restaurant without wasting time on ordering.
In its December post, McDonald’s revealed that the “automated store” demonstrates its commitment to “finding new ways to serve [customers] faster and easier than ever before.” However, some people have criticised this move and are saying that it’s going to take away millions of jobs.
Well, one thing is sure. If we look back on the Covid-19 pandemic, McDonald’s emerged as a winner in “fast casual through digital innovations along with their core competencies for their core consumers”. While other companies continued to face challenges, McDonald’s revealed that it had recovered 99% of Q419 global same “store sales” in the post-pandemic era. McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski attributed this success to its “new growth strategy”, “Accelerating the Arches.”
Why Is McDonald’s Being Criticized?
They couldn’t automate the food process because too many people would be unemployed and the hit to the economy would impact their sales as well, also people were less drawn to go eat at a fast food place with the BurgerFlipper3000
— Trenton – dairy free (@Trenton_94) December 22, 2022
After the announcement was made, several worried social media users took to various platforms to express their concerns. One user noted that the move will lead to “cutting jobs of people working in restaurants”.
Another expressed in a TikTok video, “Well there goes millions of jobs,” one commenter on a TikTok video. “Oh no first we have to talk with Siri and Google [and] now we have to talk to another computer,” another user chimed. “Honestly, if they go through with this I’ll just boycott McDonald’s. Their food’s mid at best anyway,” one user stated.
McDonald’s, on the other hand, has a different opinion and stated that the concept will make the “customer experience more seamless”. The company revealed that food will still be prepared by human staff at the restaurant.
The company released a statement: “Inside the restaurant, there’s a delivery pick-up room for couriers to retrieve orders quickly and conveniently. There are also kiosks, where customers can place their orders to go, and a pick-up shelf for orders. Outside the restaurant, there are several parking spaces dedicated to curbside order pick-up, as well as designated parking spaces for delivery drivers.”
As per the statement, a restaurant crew will actively prepare orders, but this new concept will eliminate the tedious task of handling a register and delivering food to drive-thru lanes or at the front desk. The automated store will help enhance the team’s ability to assemble orders. Well, no matter how alluring this concept sounds, a lot of McDonald’s employees got to find another job. What do you think?