McDonald's Planning Kiosks Takeover 1 day ago
McDonald's will roll out self-order kiosks to 1,000 stores every quarter for the next two years, according to CEO Steve Easterbrook. The kiosks were already in roughly 3,500 US McDonald's restaurants as of March, or about one-fourth of its domestic stores. They will be in about half of US restaurants by the end of 2018 and in all stores by 2020. McDonald's locations in Australia, Canada, and the UK are even further along in kiosk usage. Customers who use the kiosks tend to browse the menu and order more, Easterbrook told CNBC this week, adding, "There's a little bit of an average check boost." As part of its modernization efforts, the fast-food chain is offering customers alternative ways of ordering, including through kiosks, the mobile app, and delivery through Uber Eats. McDonald's spokesperson Terri Hickey told BuzzFeed News the redesigned restaurants "still have cashiers — kiosks provide another option for customers to order and pay. We’re finding with kiosks, customers tend to feel less rushed, take their time, browse the menu, and often order more." McDonald's and other restaurant companies are wrangling with rising labor costs in the US as minimum wage hikes take effect in markets around the country. In the first quarter of the year, McDonald's payroll and employee benefits were 30.2% of sales, up from 27.8% during the same period in 2017. While Hickey did not say roughly how many cashiers are being replaced by kiosks, she said the restaurants are shifting those workers to other roles: "[With] the addition of self-order kiosks, restaurants are transitioning some roles to more customer engaging positions like Guest Experience Leaders and table service."
Definitely ironic that companies will replace humans with these (and other) machines. It's a definite challenge to the work force that will only grow as technology improves.
Will, getting gas has to be a real PIA for you, then.
he he he
Next thing you know, the process from ordering to fixing your sandwich will be all automated, no people required. Shoot, they'll probably even eat it for you. ;)
Yeah, that's the theory.
Unfortunately the kids whose first job was taking burger orders, are not the ones that are going to be getting the new "better" jobs.
As usual, the liberals who think they are helping, are actually hurting by completely eliminating the first rung on the employment ladder for a lot of kids and part time job seekers.
Let's face reality. For the most part, the notion that people are trying to support a family on a minimum wage jobs is a myth. Anyone that is not a student/part timer and still has a minimum wage job after 6 months, is very likely not qualified to do anything else, including the new "better" jobs.
Surely you can't be serious Matt.
Just how many 14 - 18 year olds do you think are going be designing, manufacturing, and installing kiosks part time over the summers and while going through school? And even if they were, are those "better jobs" where they are expected to learn for the first time how to be a part of a work force, interact effectively with co-workers, managers, employers and the general public as well as conflict resolution skills, customer service skills, etc.. Heck, even just the ability to get to work on time (sober), stay on task until completion, actually work until quitting time, and the consequences on not doing those things?
I don't care who you are, how smart you are, or wealthy your family is, the value of those things are immeasurable. Take them away and you've got trouble.
Gotta have those entry level jobs. To many rules and regulations in a lot of the workforce that won't let them pull summer jobs in those areas. But that is a whole 'nother topic.
So, I ask you, what is the better alternative? 1) Struggling franchises go under, thereby eliminating all their jobs, or 2) they further automate their service, making them more efficient and profitable, albeit at the expense of a few cashier jobs, perhaps.
Come on Matt, you're smarter than that. What do you think the spokesperson is going to say?
"We have come to the realization that being forced to pay our part time, teenage workers a 'living wage" is not profitable under our current pricing structure so we had a decision to make. We could either raise our prices accordingly, or replace those workers with a machine. It really is simple math. Now, we are going to tell everyone that this is designed to speed up the ordering process and make you 'dining experience' more pleasurable but come on folks, we all know that's not true. Think of the last ignoramus you were behind at the self serve checkout, or the soda machine, or the gas pump, and then tell me how this is going to speed things up. No, in reality, unless you want the $1 menu to be replaced with the $3 menu, this is the price you are going to have to pay."
Perhaps you overestimate me. ;-)
Several years ago, I was tasked with turning around my father-in-law's struggling manufacturing plant. He gave me carte blanche decision making power. The company had over 100 employees and was on the verge of bankruptcy due mostly to mismanagement and inefficiency. One of the first things I realized was they had 2 huge CNC machines that weren't being used because they couldn't find a competent programmer. Instead, they were making many parts using conventional manual tooling.
I made finding a CNC programmer a priority. Once he was on board, and we started utilizing the CNC machines, I had to let 25 workers go, regrettably. That was one of the most profitable moves I made, and one of the most difficult. In the end, we staved off bankruptcy and eventually sold the company. I eliminated 25 jobs by automating certain tasks, but I also saved 75 jobs by making the company profitable again. For me, that was a win, so I can relate to McDonald's situation,.
I know you guys want to make this all about minimum wage and politics, but sometimes it simply comes down to making logical business decisions.
All honesty..... I much prefer dealing with a kiosk or ordering online, etc. than dealing with a human factor. I really don't care for dealing/socializing with people, despite my sparkling personality...... I love to hunt alone as well as work alone, but that's just me. I know others who go into a panic if not surrounded by people, they fear solitude and have a great desire, even a need to socialize. To each their own.....
Plus... you don't have to tip a machine..... =D
You do realize you just made my argument, right?
It's ALWAYS about the bottom line.
1.50 tacos are profitable when you are paying kids 7.50 an hour to make them. They are not profitable when you are paying kids 15.00 an hour to make them. Not to mention when you start paying the 7.50 kids 15.00, the shift managers that were making 15.00 now want (and deserve) 25.00. The general manager that was making 25.00 now wants (and deserves) 40.00 an hour, and the whole business model falls apart unless people are willing and able to pay 7.00 for a 1.50 taco...
...or you can replace the bottom rung of the employment ladder, with a CNC machine or a kiosk.
I couldn't agree more.
"...or you can replace the bottom rung of the employment ladder, with a CNC machine or a kiosk.
Now you're making my point. I'm glad we agree. Whether it's a $7/hr employee, or a $15/hr employee, if you can be more profitable by automating those jobs, it only make sense to do so.
You seem to place a high value on low paying jobs. I don't. There will always be jobs for 16-18 year olds, if they are willing to work. I made more money mowing lawns at 12 yrs old than I could ever make taking burger orders. The same applies today.
I don't disagree with the automation, and the more businesses are regulated into high costs and expenses (many if not most times labor is the highest expense) the more sense it makes to automate. Always has been so and will continue to be. That is reality.
At the same time every action has a consequence, a reaction. Losing all those jobs will have a consequence.
It's McDonalds.......still a 50-50 you'll get the wrong order.
Thru-out history technology and automation has replaced manual labor. Roles have adapted.
Since they did introduce them, I can honestly say that after the first week or so I don't see ANYONE using them. People just go right to the counter. If this holds true I can see them getting rid of them.
Right up until they raise the minimum wage beyond the point that they makes sense financially. That's the whole point of this discussion.
And yes, I place an extremely high value on minimum wage, first rung on the ladder jobs. In my opinion, they might just be the most important job a person will ever have. Skills learned (or not learned) in those lowly minimum wage jobs will be with a person for their entire working career.
You've heard the saying, "All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten," right?
Well, the very same thing can be said about a young person's first job. Even if the most important thing you learn is that you will do whatever is necessary to never be stuck in a minimum wage job.
TRUTH!!! That's what my father told me when I had my first low paying job. "Don't like it? Then study harder so you don't have to do that all your life!"
I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do at that time, but I can assure you that it wasn’t going to be working on an assembly line.
Terrible job, wonderful lesson.
That's were we differ, KPC. Kids will always have job opportunities, if they want them. Lawn mowing is just one of many examples. In my neck of the woods, there aren't any fast food jobs, or any other traditional minimum wage jobs, yet our kids still find work, whether it's cleaning out barns, mending fences, feeding livestock and pets, or any number of other chores that are necessary in a rural setting.
Our neighbors 3 kids have done our chores when we travel since their early teens, and are still more than willing to do it as grownups. We are grateful for their help and pay them well.
Anyway, I never had a desire to take burger orders, and I didn't need to spend a summer doing it to know that. So I think the kiosks are a great idea, especially if they make McDonalds more profitable.
As a side note, am I the only one who feels a little uncomfortable placing a fast food order with a senior citizen? I always wonder what circumstances caused them to be working there at that stage of their lives. I know you gotta do what you gotta do, but damn thats got to be hard.
Around here, kids trimmed Christmas trees, pumped gas, shoveled snow, delivered (sold) newspapers papers, washed dishes, flipped burgers, made tacos, and the list goes on and on.
My daughter worked at Taco Bell from the day she turned 16 until her second year in college. She didn't particularly like the work but she learned a heck of a lot about a lot of things, worked hard, won their national college scholarships three years in a row (I'm sure she would have won it for the fourth year but had to quit to do an internship).
She worked with a number of great kids but the good ones don't ever last long. They're not supposed to. It's a stepping stone. One of the managers she worked under, started out at minimum wage, became assistant manager, then general manager, then regional manager and now owns a number of Blaze Pizza franchises.
Of course it's not just flipping burgers. It's any minimum wage job. Every minimum wage job that is lost to a machine or anything else, denies another kid a start in the work force. And every time some liberal decides that the minimum wage needs to be raised to a "living wage," another business finds a way around it in order to stay profitable.
I never flipped burgers either, but I did work minimum wage jobs and I learned something from all of them.
I think we agree in general. I've never cared for legislated minimum wage. I think the markets should dictate the wage scale, not a bunch of politicians.
I guess where we differ is in the value you place on minimum wage jobs. To me, they were always a last resort, if I couldn't find any other better paying work. The thing is, I always found better paying work, whether it was mowing lawns, or selling sporting goods on commission, or cleaning carpets, or construction jobs, etc..there was always something that paid more than minimum wage. Heck, I made $12/hr at my first carpentry job at 17 years old.
As always, I've enjoyed our discussion. Thanks.
Worked at a bait store for a summer....hard work but fun. Don't remember the wages there.
Then moved up working at a vending machine company for a few years. Got fired and was the best thing that ever happened to me. I think that was like $2.65 an hour.
Decided I needed a change in life and went into the CG. While waiting I worked at a lumber yard for about 8-9 months....that might have been $3.25 an hour.
Forever happy and blessed I got fired from the vending machine company. That was a pivotal point in my life. That forced me to spread my wings and fish or cut bait with life. I got out on my own with a new life in new places and never looked back. I believe if I had not gotten fired I would have bounced around from job to job in the same town. I went into the CG, had a great fixing/flying career, survived it, did my 30 and retired. Ain't got no complaints at all.
I feel fortunate to have been raised in the Denver area. In the late '70s, '80s, and '90s Colorado was booming. Contractors were desperate for help, and were willing to pay well when they found a good worker. I paid for my entire college education by working full-time summer construction jobs and part time jobs during school.
What concerns me is wages have basically remained stagnant since that time, while the cost of living, educations, and everything else have continued to rise. I'd hate to be an 18 year old just getting started today. I guess that's why we see kids living with their parents well into their 20s and even 30s now.
The same is true today Matt. Almost every employer around here is literally desperate for good workers. The operative term being ""good workers." And yes, they are willing to pay them nicely...once they prove themselves. By proving themselves I mean show up every day, on time, sober, work while they are there, leave their phone in their pocket, can pass a drug test, and leave their stupid drama at home. Anyone worth anything shouldn't have a problem with that because if they can, they won't be on the bottom rung for long.
My wife tells me that at her plant, she'd just be happy if some of them just had the decency to tell her when they quit. They just don't bother to show up, leaving them in a bind.
Ironically, these are all the things that kids could have or should have learned in their teens working those dumb "minimum wage" jobs.
Sorry, KPC, but your argument just doesn't fly with me. You admit that employers are desperate for good workers, but claim the lack of minimum wage jobs is the reason they can't find them? Hmm....
You DON'T have to endure a summer of minimum wage work to learn work ethics and be a good employee. I never worked for minimum wage in my life and I think I did OK. My work ethic was instilled in me long before I was of employment age by my mother and father. If I wanted to play baseball, I watered and mowed the lawn every week, and did my own laundry, and kept my grades up, and my room clean. If I wanted a car, I got a job to pay for it.
I was raised to believe that minimum wage was for those that needed it, and that it was a short rung up from welfare, not something that was a necessary step to becoming a valuable employee.
I just looked...it was $2.30 in 1976/77. I worked at a miniature golf place on the Boardwalk in Daytona. Think the pay check would vary around $25-$35 depending on how many hours I worked on Fri night thru Sun night and after Da' Man took his cut. As a first job...it was a good one to break the ice of employment and to get a few bucks for gas. I remember there was alot of good looking gals that liked to play golf....some in bikini's. I guess that was called a job perk back then.
You seem to be misunderstanding my point (or I’m not making it very well).
Rather than use the term "minimum wage jobs" I should use the term low pay (relatively) and low skill jobs.
The point is you cut your teeth mowing lawns, mending fences and swinging a hammer, not designing kiosks. So did I. So do most people. Different jobs, different parts of the country, different pay, same idea. The market is going to determine the minimum pay for those jobs, not the government. When the government artificially inflates it in order to be fair, those jobs go away.
And yes, whether your parents taught you, or your first employer taught you, those low skill, low pay (relatively) jobs most certainly contributed to you being the person/worker you are today. A good work ethic, as well problem solving, time management, communication skills, and teamwork ability are all learned skills that make good employees. With very few exceptions, these things are learned on the bottom rungs of the employment ladder, not the top rungs.
The reason employers are having a hard time finding "good workers" is a societal problem, not a pay problem, but that's a different discussion.