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How to Deal with “Striking” Fast Food Employees in One-Simple Step…

Replace them with touch-screen cashiers.

(Actually, there are a number of McDonald’s which are practically there already…)

“Welcome to McDonald’s. My name is HAL 9000. May I take your order?”

McDonalds recently went on a hiring binge in the U.S., adding 62,000 employees to its roster. The hiring picture doesn’t look quite so rosy for Europe, where the fast food chain is drafting 7,000 touch-screen kiosks to handle cashiering duties.

The move is designed to boost efficiency and make ordering more convenient for customers. In an interview with the Financial Times, McDonald’s Europe President Steve Easterbrook notes that the new system will also open up a goldmine of data. McDonald’s could potentially track every Big Mac, McNugget, and large shake you order. A calorie account tally at the end of the year could be a real shocker.

The touch screens will only accept debit or credit cards, adding to the slow death knell of cash and coins. This all goes along with an overall revamp of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide aimed at projecting a modern image as opposed to the old-fashioned golden arches with a slightly creepy (to my taste anyway) clown guy hanging around the french fries.

This puts McDonald’s one step closer to opening up its first Alphaville location. At least our new computer overlords will be nice enough to serve us a Filet-o-Fish. Maybe they’ll even throw in an iPad with the Happy Meal one of these days.

Another thing this solves, a cashier mishearing your order.  Oh, they might still screw it up in the “Putting the food on your tray” phase, but most of the times you don’t have to hear “What was that again sir?” when you’re standing in line getting your order taken.

No comment from SEIU, or whether they will go full Luddite in Europe and destroy the machines by force with hammers and other means.

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