In a recent article by the Pilot Tribune, a newspaper in Storm Lake, Iowa, it was announced that McDonald’s was cutting the ribbon on new ordering kiosks at a local McDonalds:
“McDonald’s unveiled its new electronic ordering kiosks at a Storm Lake United ribbon cutting Tuesday, rolling out the beginning of what it calls the ‘experience of the future,’ to be revealed in all … of its stores over the next two years.”
The installation of the ordering kiosks is not news; it began in 2015. Customers like me will find their placement awkward since they are positioned directly in front of the cashiers whom they presumably are designed to replace. Other ordering technology such as mobile ordering remove the human interaction element but not directly in front of the individuals the technology will replace. McDonald’s has claimed that it is not using this technology to replace its workforce, but as human labor becomes more expensive, the company will doubtless look toward other opportunities to minimize its labor expense.
Other customers must be using this new technology, as McDonald’s is looking to roll these new kiosks out to 14,000 locations by 2020 according to Business Insider article on whether kiosks are better for customers. Business Insider points out that most chains are simply “reallocating labor behind the scenes” and having a hard time hiring and retaining workers in customer-facing positions in a tight labor market. It will be interesting to observe the frequency and usage patterns of personal in-store ordering, face-to-face ordering, and mobile ordering as this new technology continues to roll out.
Overview by Ryan McEndarfer, Editor-in-chief at PaymentsJournal.com