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McDonald’s new self-serve kiosks: Friend or foe?

Cutter Slagle
|Sep 11|magazine10 min read

There is a new trend on the horizon, but is it here to stay?

As you know, fast food fads come and go. If you think back, you’ll most likely be able to remember a product or novelty once offered by a chain that is currently no longer available. Perhaps Burger King’s Burger Shots? Wendy’s SuperBar? McDonald’s McSalad Shakers?

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For quite some time now, McDonald’s has faced declining sales globally, leading the famous fast food chain to start taking various measures to (potentially) overhaul its business model, which has ultimately led to self-serving kiosk stations.

Officially available in the United States and Canada, we have to ask the obvious question that is most likely on everyone’s mind: Are jobs going to be at stake?

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Originally reported by our sister brand Business Review Canada, it looks like employees can take a deep breath. It’s been reported that the self-serve kiosks are still just in the testing phase and only offered in a small handful of locations across the country.

Regarding the issue, Adam Grachnik, a spokesperson for McDonald’s Canada said, “These kiosks are designed to give our guests a modern opportunity to order at their own pace and try their own hand at customizing their order (if they choose to). They also offer an alternative option for guests to place their order during busy periods.

Furthermore, Grachnik added, “It’s part of the chain’s ongoing brand evolution and a reaction to today’s digital age where our guests are looking for a fast, efficient service experience as well as user-friendly ordering options.”

As with any type of new technology, the systems have not been without glitches; however, McDonald’s is still planning on powering through to work out the various kinks. And while the kiosks have been incorporated for a variety of purposes, one in particular stands out: the movement for a $15 minimum wage, which could threaten a fast food restaurant’s business model.

However, the company has blatantly stated that these kiosks are not designed to replace its staff.

Grachnik recently stated, “In restaurants currently testing our self-order kiosks, the scheduled number of restaurant crew is the same or higher as without kiosks in order to support the needs of our guests.”

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[SOURCE: Huffington Post Canada]

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