McDonald’s self serve machines

Arvinder taking an order Pictures, Images and Photos McDonald’s plans to change the way their fast food restaurants operate in Europe. They will be letting go of a lot of cashiers/order takers and instead they will put self serve touch screen machines. Although the machines will not accept cash (only credit and debit cards), the transactions are expected to be faster by 3 or 4 seconds on average. However, the real reasons McDonald’s is making this change is to cut the cost of paying employees every hour when a machine makes less mistakes, doesn’t slack off and doesn’t require breaks. In addition to being less expensive than employees, using machines in this way will allow McDonald’s to gather more information on customers’ buying habits.

Although there are no plans to bring this change to North America, this seems like a no-brainer to me. I’m not sure why the machines won’t accept cash in Europe, since the self check out machines at grocery stores here have no problem with cash. The only thing that the machines would have to include, at least in large and diverse cities like New York, Toronto and Chicago is a list of languages that users can select in the beginning of the transaction. If they can do this (which shouldn’t be a problem) and accept cash (which also shouldn’t be a problem), then I see no reason why this can’t become the new standard in all fast food restaurants in North America and Europe.

I am sure that although there are no plans to bring this change to North America, if McDonald’s sees that it is working well in Europe by saving money and improving the customer experience, I would not be surprised to see machines greeting us at every McDonald’s instead of teenagers within the next 10 years.