Could New York Get a Humanless McDonald’s in 2023?
When McDonald's started adding the kiosks where people could order, the first thing I could think of was the recurring joke on South Park, "They took err jerbs! [They took our jobs!" At the time, I figured that the technological innovation would only decrease the amount of people they needed running the cash register. Surely, they will always need people to handle the customer service to some extent, right? Wrong.
Could the Hudson Valley Get a McDonald's w/ No Human Employees?
That's a question we are going to have to start asking ourselves now because it is extremely possible. Some of you may already know how I feel about artificial intelligence, especially if you read my article about RadioGPT. So, again, I feel uneasy in the direction this is going.
McDonald's unveiled its first ever automated store. They opened their new test restaurant near Fort Worth, Texas. Instead of human workers handing you a bag at the drive-thru window, an automatic conveyor belt brings your order to the window. Ordering is done completely through kiosks or the app. There is no human interaction. McDonald's said that the test restaurant demonstrates its commitment to "finding new ways to serve [customers] faster and easier than ever before." It sounds like there are still human workers preparing the food, but the concept is that customers won't actually have to interact with anyone.
The new "Order Ahead Lane is a new drive-thru lane where customers receive their orders via a conveyor. Customers can place their orders ahead of time, skip the drive-thru and pick up their orders quickly. The new restaurant is designed specifically for people on the go, and not so much for people dining in. Inside, there is a delivery pick-up room for couriers. There are kiosks inside and people can place orders there and grab their food left on a shelf. Outside, there are parking spaces for curbside pick-ups as well as spaces for delivery drivers.
McDonald's says that the Order Ahead Lane allows the restaurant team to begin preparing customers' orders when they're near the restaurant. The restaurant's app updates. food and beverage conveyor, and new kitchen format all streamline operations leading to a fast, seamless experience for both customers and crew. Keith Vanececk, the franchisee operating the test restaurant, claims that this new service will give the restaurant team the ability to concentrate on the speed and accuracy of each order.
Will Other Contactless McDonald's Arrive to the Hudson Valley Soon?
The first test restaurant opened in Fort Worth, Texas, and since then, locations in Denver Colorado and Las Vegas, Nevada have opened. The concept of the contactless restaurant was first shared a part of McDonald's "Accelerating the Arches" growth strategy at their Investor Update back in 2020. Iff McDonald's finds the concept profitable, I wouldn't be surprised to see a contactless McDonald's pop up in New York within the next couple of years. How would you feel about going to a contactless McDonald's? Let us know in the app.
@foodiemunster @McDonald’s ♬ Jingle Bell Rock - Bobby Helms