(Natural News) There are 13,266 McDonald’s stores in the United States as of this writing, but one in Fort Worth, Texas stands out. It is the first fully automated outlet of the giant fast-food chain.
The customer can go in, order the food, get the meal and pay the bill without human interaction. Of course, the food will still be cooked and prepared by people, but they’re all tucked in the kitchen, out of sight and out of contact.
Also, the store is just about half the size of the traditional McDonald’s store and there’s nowhere to sit down customers. There’s a creepy silence as nobody is manning the counter.
TikToker @foodiemunster took a peek inside this new style of McDonald’s and got an eerie feeling sans the usual busy atmosphere of traditional fast-food outlets.
A customer can place an order and receive the food without interacting with people as the automated delivery system sticks the order on a conveyor belt and carries it out as well.
Delivery drivers from various takeaway apps like Uber Eats can still pick up food for people on a driveway.
The automation process has been going on slowly for the past few years at McDonald’s. Most orders aren’t placed at the counter anymore, but in kiosks. Now, customers can choose and then press what they want onto those touchscreens that had been installed all over the restaurant.
In such setups, however, there is still human interaction as there are a few workers shouting the order numbers for collection and checking the receipts to make sure each customer gets the right meal.
Recovering from a 21.49 percent decline in sales worldwide in 2020 brought about by the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, McDonald’s intends to blaze the trend and is planning to field more robots to save on labor costs. (Related: McDonald’s to outsource more human jobs to machines as human workers become increasingly irrelevant.)
But first, automation must gain universal acceptance or at least wide support from customers.
“Customers can drive to the golden arches and expect to be served a Big Mac or a Happy Meal by a food and beverage conveyor instead of an actual, real-life human being,” said a McDonald’s spokesperson, who explained to the Guardian that the test concept still employs a team comparable to that of a traditional store.
With the application of enhanced technology, the restaurant staff can begin preparing customers’ orders when they’re near the restaurant and pick up their meals in a drive-through “order ahead lane,” with the food conveyor belt proceeding in a consistent smooth movement.
McDonald’s believes the concept will make its service “more seamless than ever before.”
Automation experiment draws criticism
While McDonald’s claim may be true, it doesn’t stop activists from lambasting the costly automation experiment. They point out that the company should make paying a decent living wage for its employees a priority over such experiment.
McDonald’s employees normally make less than $15 an hour. In fact, McDonald’s is one of 300 publicly held companies with the lowest median worker wages, based on the 2021 Institute for Policy Studies report.
Also, a lot of workers are going to be dismissed, with their jobs taken over by robots and automation.
There’s no official report yet on how the Fort Worth store is faring. If it succeeds, expect more branches or other restaurants and fast-food chains to follow suit.
Technology experts believe it’s no longer a question of whether robot chefs and automated processes will engulf the food industry. The McDonald’s experiment is a clear manifestation that they will eventually.
Visit Robotics.news for more about robots taking over jobs meant for humans.
The video below tackles the increasing number of robot chefs being employed by fast food chains.
This video is from the high impact Flix and more!!! channel on Brighteon.com.
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