McDonald's has just ordered 7,000 touchscreens to replace cashiers in its restaurants. While Mikey D's went on a recent U.S. hiring spree, adding nearly 64,000 people to its ranks, the Europe restaurants seem to be phasing out human employees.
McDonald's will launch 7,000 touchscreen kiosks where customers can place orders. This move is an effort to replace human cashiers. In Europe, the restaurant serves 2 million people each day, and they hope to lure even more customers through their doors with the new technology, which will save customer order time to three or four seconds. That's pretty amazing.
There are some drawbacks to these touchscreen kiosks, though. They will only accept credit or debit cards, so cash is a no go. Also, they will likely track customer orders. A lot of chains already do this with loyalty cards, but these touchscreens are a whole different level to the tracking. How would McDonald's use this information in the future? There's no doubt they would use it to change their menu and marketing strategies.
There are other chains that have touchscreens like Hardee's and Arby's, and they work with varying levels of success. Often there are one or two cashiers available, and then there are the kiosks. That gives customers the choice of ordering options. The kiosks are neat because they remember your previous order, so if you tend to order the exact same thing, then they can really speed things up, and it allows people to avoid having to interact with the cashiers.
Have you ever used a touchscreen kiosk at a fast food restaurant? If so, what did you think? What do you think of McDonald's plan to put 7,000 of them throughout its European stores? Do you think they'll eventually come to the U.S.?