McDonald’s has a new plan to boost sales: self-serve ordering kiosks where customers can order their Big Mac without the horrible attitudes and consistent mistakes of the franchise employees that could care less about customer service. The company plans to upgrade 1,000 stores with this technology every quarter for the next eight to nine quarters, because when people have to scroll through menu items themselves, they end up ordering more of those $1 menu items. “What we’re finding is when people dwell more, they select more,” CEO Steve Easterbrook told CNBC on Monday. “There’s a little bit of an average check boost.” Customers in Canada, Australia, and the U.K. have gotten used to mobile ordering a Big Mac, or navigating a self-serve kiosk, but the technology is not widespread in the U.S. yet. That will most likely be changing, though. In an earnings call in January, McDonalds’s announced that half of all American storefronts will have self-serve kiosks by the end of 2018.
The Fight for $15 has been proclaimed a success everywhere it brought about an increase in the minimum wage but, as almost anyone could have predicted, the end result is going to be more automation and most probably fewer jobs. I’m saying “probably” fewer jobs because the official word from McDonald’s and other chains is that they aren’t necessarily cutting staff just reassigning them to other jobs in the restaurant. (In my opinion, they certainly will cut jobs, but they don’t want to announce that as that statement could jeopardize their brand.) What jobs exactly? That’s never been entirely clear. No doubt there will always be one person on hand to take orders but it could come down to just one person there to help people use the kiosks. McDonald’s plans to instill testing on delivery options, so at least the humans can still drive the delivery cars when the kiosks take their jobs.
People fail to realize the effects that asking for a pay increase will cause. Of course for those lucky enough to find work, this increase is amazing. But using logic suggests that this increase in wages will force McDonald’s to have to eliminate workers deemed “excess.” At the end of the day, the goal is to be profitable; and a company the size of McDonald’s does not reach the level it has without doing what needs to be done to stay profitable. Not to mention the fact that McDonald’s has lost a lot of market share due to poor customer service and lack of quality. In addition I have seen it take 3 people to perform one job and still get the order wrong, which cost the franchise a lot of money. Many employees are not worth this pay increase. This increase should only come with outstanding performance, not with a policy change from government who know nothing about running profitable businesses. Make no mistake about it; you will see kiosks replace employees on a national level as employers are getting fed up with poor employee behavior. Kiosks prove to be more cost effective, more efficient with a lot less attitude than the employees that think they are doing the consumer a favor by working there.