Wall Street Cheers Replacement of Cashiers with Digital Kiosks

Megalith

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McDonald's has hit an all-time high after announcing that they would be upgrading 2,500 restaurants with digital ordering kiosks. As far as I can tell, these stores will do away with cashiers entirely – though comments from corporate suggest that human workers will simply be given new roles.

"Our CEO, Steve Easterbrook, has said on many occasions that self-order kiosks in McDonald's restaurants are not a labor replacement. They provide an opportunity to transition back-of-the-house positions to more customer service roles such as concierges and table service where they are able to truly engage with guests and enhance the dining experience."
 

MrGuvernment

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Until i get a discount for doing someone else job at these locations i refuse to use them...

HomeDepot, you want me to scan, bag and do my own shit? give me a discount...I don't work for you so why am i doing your workers job for you?

I know, I know, it can be faster and quicker to just hit a screen or use an app, call me old fashion (only 37...)

Also i call BS on they will simply give people other jobs to do, you are now cutting out a role a person had to do, while you already had all other positions staffed.. this WILL let you fire people and have less overhead.
 

dgacioch

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I've never been a fan of the damn kiosks anywhere they install them. I like to interact with people not keypads. I figured this was going to happen though with the whole push for a $15 living wage making its way through the service industry.
 

Dalexx

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I love it. I'd be thrilled to have a phone app and skip their kiosk, just plug in order and hit send, wait a few minutes and hopefully get what I ordered. The more people I can cut out the process, the better. Granted I rarely eat out anymore so doesn't do much for me nowadays.

MrGuvernment, I'd disagree with your take. I don't view it has doing someone else's job, I view it has having more control over the process. I always choose the self checkout lines. Less chit chat more go go go. I don't need help bagging my items, I'm a capable male. And most importantly, the self checkout line is normally shorter if not empty. Why would I choose to stand in line? Do you not use pay at the pump features at gas stations as well? McDonald kiosks will be the same thing in 10 years.
 

TrailRunner

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Until i get a discount for doing someone else job at these locations i refuse to use them...

HomeDepot, you want me to scan, bag and do my own shit? give me a discount...I don't work for you so why am i doing your workers job for you?

I know, I know, it can be faster and quicker to just hit a screen or use an app, call me old fashion (only 37...)

Also i call BS on they will simply give people other jobs to do, you are now cutting out a role a person had to do, while you already had all other positions staffed.. this WILL let you fire people and have less overhead.
I refuse to use those self checkouts for two reasons:
1 I don't want to contribute to some unfortunate individual losing their job
2 Those things are actually slower than the cashier. They're either asking you to re-scan, or not registering when you've placed the item in the 'bagging area', or you've bought something that can't realistically be scanned by the machine. Waiting in line for those is waiting for some schmuck to battle through the process, holding up everyone else, until it's then your turn to be the schmuck who's holding everyone up. No thanks.
Thankfully the local grocery stores all pulled those out years ago, but if I'm at Home Depot and there's only self-checkout, I go straight to Customer Service to pay.

McDonald's may not fire anyone, but they'll sure cut everyone's hours so that everyone has a turn in the kitchen. Knowing how things operated when I worked BK in high school, half of the cashiers will think food prep is beneath them and quit rather than man the frier.
 

ZenDragon

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I hate these to be honest. The local Wildflower Bakery or whatever its called did this. I would prefer to just order from a person to have a conversation with them, perhaps ask them what they like to help me decide on my meal. Ordering from a kiosk just feels so, inefficient. At least in that I will spend a lot longer thinking about what I want to order than you would normal talking to a person. Perhaps this is offset statistically by the quantity of kiosks at any particular location. Maybe just I'm old fashioned.
 

[Spectre]

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Also i call BS on they will simply give people other jobs to do, you are now cutting out a role a person had to do, while you already had all other positions staffed.. this WILL let you fire people and have less overhead.
Of course they will fire or just not hire more people once the churn washes out the former cashiers. It's not like people who go to McDonald's are there for the service and are willing to pay for it though. So, the expensive cashier gets replaced with a kiosk and customers are happy.
 

nutzo

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I figured this was going to happen though with the whole push for a $15 living wage making its way through the service industry.
And we have the winner.

Having a $15/hour minimum wage doesn't help all the people who end up losing their jobs. Doesn't even help the people who still have jobs, since it raises prices on much of what they buy.

Having ordering linked to an app on your smart phone will be next. Just pick your choice from the list on your phone and press buy. They can even limit ordering to people close by using GPS to avoid abuse. 10 second ordering, no more waiting in line to order. Now we just need to automate the food preparation and to provide a count down timer for when its ready.
 

Gorankar

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People still eat at McDonalds?

Why not just buy stock in synthetic insulin companies. If there is an example of a worse fast food, outside of the choke and puke selection found in most convenient stores, I have not yet come across it.
Kiosks are the future at that sort of place. They will prove cheaper than cashiers. More reliable as well.
 

Ultima99

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And we have the winner.

Having a $15/hour minimum wage doesn't help all the people who end up losing their jobs. Doesn't even help the people who still have jobs, since it raises prices on much of what they buy.

Having ordering linked to an app on your smart phone will be next. Just pick your choice from the list on your phone and press buy. They can even limit ordering to people close by using GPS to avoid abuse. 10 second ordering, no more waiting in line to order. Now we just need to automate the food preparation and to provide a count down timer for when its ready.
Its been a few years since the burger making robot was making news here. I wonder how far that has come....
 

nilepez

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They already have these in Vancouver and they also have people at the front desk. I have no problem with this. I'd rather use a self check out at the grocery store, because it's generally faster. If this was the fastest way to get your food, then why not?
 

Tweak42

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I HATE waiting in lines, even more so at a "fast food" place. If automation shortens waiting in lines, (and does not raise prices) I'm not opposed to it.

I foresee McDs doing a mix of kiosk for fast ordering and the standard manned cashier for the customers not in hurry.

Banks already do the same thing with ATMs and standard tellers. Our grocery store has a bank of self check outs to augment their manned one (when they're not broken), and I use the Home Depot self checkout quite frequently to breeze through when I only have 1 small easy scanable item.
 

Madoc

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I've never been a fan of the damn kiosks anywhere they install them. I like to interact with people not keypads. I figured this was going to happen though with the whole push for a $15 living wage making its way through the service industry.
It would've happened regardless. The $15/hr thing *may* have pushed the timetable up a bit, but that was definitely going to happen.

It's all fun and games until no one can afford to buy your product.
 

alxnet7227

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And we have the winner.

Having a $15/hour minimum wage doesn't help all the people who end up losing their jobs. Doesn't even help the people who still have jobs, since it raises prices on much of what they buy..
At $15/hr, a restaurant operating 12hrs would have labor cost of $180 per day per cashier position. Add in employer matching FICA/Medicare tax/workerscomp/overhead, and you're looking at labor cost of $225 per position per day. That's an astounding $82,000 yearly. Guarantee those kiosks cost a small fraction of that.
 

EODetroit

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I have no problem with this. I've been a cashier before at a gas station and a pizza restaurant. They don't add a whole lot of value, except perhaps if the menu is too complex. This will also eliminate the disconnect that shitty customers have between what they thought they ordered and what they actually ordered. Now, it'll be the customer's own fault if they order the wrong stuff. A big step in the right direction.

Also, even the LCD of people aren't intimidated by touch screens any more. The timing is right. That wasn't the case before smart phones.
 

ob1

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I like the kiosks, and will probably like the eventual evolution to automated cooking/assembly as well. However, we have been saying for a while that this will kick off many facets of this type of "human replacement" in these fields, (fast food first then nearly all other retail). The real problem will be when this causes unemployment to skyrocket. When we, as a country, have 15% to 20% unemployment, things will start to get interesting....
 

sirmonkey1985

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Until i get a discount for doing someone else job at these locations i refuse to use them...

HomeDepot, you want me to scan, bag and do my own shit? give me a discount...I don't work for you so why am i doing your workers job for you?

I know, I know, it can be faster and quicker to just hit a screen or use an app, call me old fashion (only 37...)

Also i call BS on they will simply give people other jobs to do, you are now cutting out a role a person had to do, while you already had all other positions staffed.. this WILL let you fire people and have less overhead.
for me it all depends on what i'm buying, if it's just a small amount of things or in the case of home depot if i'm buying a crap load of small things that are a pain in the ass to scan then i'll use the self checkout because it's not worth wasting other peoples time that might be waiting in line behind me. plus being a cashier myself years ago i absolutely hated having to scan that crap so why make some one else suffer doing what i hated.

either way the kiosk thing is going to depend on the region/city you're in i feel.. out here where i live it would fail miserably because technology is above everyone's head and they'll just go some where else over bothering with that crap. barely anyone uses self checkout here as it is.
 

daglesj

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The more people I can cut out the process, the better.

I don't view it has doing someone else's job, I view it has having more control over the process. .

I hope you are that pleased when they apply that to your job.
 

daglesj

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I like the kiosks, and will probably like the eventual evolution to automated cooking/assembly as well. However, we have been saying for a while that this will kick off many facets of this type of "human replacement" in these fields, (fast food first then nearly all other retail). The real problem will be when this causes unemployment to skyrocket. When we, as a country, have 15% to 20% unemployment, things will start to get interesting....
Yeah when the people that buy 90% of the fast food can't afford it anymore.

As that billionaire on TED said, give poor people more money as they are the ones that spend it. Rich people just hide it.
 

pendragon1

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we've had those here(alberta) for quite a while. I walk right past em and go to the counter. those POS kiosks take too long!
does anywhere even have the $15/hr min in place yet? I know Canada doesn't....
 

sirmonkey1985

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we've had those here(alberta) for quite a while. I walk right past em and go to the counter. those POS kiosks take too long!
does anywhere even have the $15/hr min in place yet? I know Canada doesn't....

after cost of living conversion i think seattle and san fransisco are pretty close to 15 dollars an hour but that's about it.
 

SvenBent

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I've never been a fan of the damn kiosks anywhere they install them. I like to interact with people not keypads. I figured this was going to happen though with the whole push for a $15 living wage making its way through the service industry.
it seems the everything 1st world countries has managed to do is always considered hard in the US.
a lot of countries has a minimum wage higher than 15 dollars/hours and funny enough mc donalds is still expanding in those countries.

Things that aperenatly are just to hard for the US but not other countries:
minimum wage at 15 dollars
Push for green energy
Healthcare for everybody.
Education for everybody.
Clean water for everybody.

its not wonder US is starting to lose its recognition as a 1st world country in the eyes of the overseas
 

nilepez

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It would've happened regardless. The $15/hr thing *may* have pushed the timetable up a bit, but that was definitely going to happen.

It's all fun and games until no one can afford to buy your product.
Considering places like Jason's Deli have had them for a few years and have had an app to order for even longer, I agree.
That said, this isn't going to eliminate everyone's job anytime soon. McDonald's is adding these, but they also are starting to have someone bring your food to the table and they still have people taking orders in the one I was in that had Kiosks.
 

mesyn191

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I figured this was going to happen though with the whole push for a $15 living wage making its way through the service industry.
Wages could be lower than the current national min. wage and McDonald's would still roll out these kiosk's.

They're cheaper than labor at almost any price since the kiosk cost is largely a one time hit with minimal up keep costs for years afterwards while employees, even cheap ones, cost you continuously at relatively high amounts.

Eventually the automation of this nature will get so cheap labor can't compete at even $1/hr. Will you then blame those "lazy greedy Socialist Communist" workers who want to get paid a whole $7.25/hr for wanting too much? And this isn't some far off distant future thing either. There isn't anything special about the tech in these kiosks, its been common place for years if not decades in ATM's.
 

mesyn191

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That said, this isn't going to eliminate everyone's job anytime soon. McDonald's is adding these, but they also are starting to have someone bring your food to the table and they still have people taking orders in the one I was in that had Kiosks.
Its going to chip away at them. Automation's effect on employment is going to be a process over a period of years at a minimum, it will not be a sudden event happening over days or weeks.

If kiosks replace 3-4 cashiers, even while 1 person still runs a cashier and 1 person brings people food, that is still 1-2 jobs eliminated. Kind've like how 1 person can run 4 self checkout kiosks already which effectively eliminates up to 3 jobs.
 

nilepez

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Yeah when the people that buy 90% of the fast food can't afford it anymore.
As that billionaire on TED said, give poor people more money as they are the ones that spend it. Rich people just hide it.
While I agree, technology replacing people is inevitable. Eventually you'll just pick out your groceries and walk out of the store and RFID will bill you for what you took.

The issue with wages is an issue no matter what and eventually we'll have to deal with a minimum income which will be derived from taxing businesses (more than likely) who make money, but have very few employees (unless it's a very highly trained/educated field and even then who knows). I think in my lifetime many programming jobs will be automated.
 

nilepez

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Its going to chip away at them. Automation's effect on employment is going to be a process over a period of years at a minimum, it will not be a sudden event happening over days or weeks.

If kiosks replace 3-4 cashiers, even while 1 person still runs a cashier and 1 person brings people food, that is still 1-2 jobs eliminated. Kind've like how 1 person can run 4 self checkout kiosks already which effectively eliminates up to 3 jobs.
I guess I got to different fast food joints than you. In general, there's only one person working the cash register in the front and another for drive through.
 

Dekoth-E-

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Until i get a discount for doing someone else job at these locations i refuse to use them...

HomeDepot, you want me to scan, bag and do my own shit? give me a discount...I don't work for you so why am i doing your workers job for you?

I know, I know, it can be faster and quicker to just hit a screen or use an app, call me old fashion (only 37...)

Also i call BS on they will simply give people other jobs to do, you are now cutting out a role a person had to do, while you already had all other positions staffed.. this WILL let you fire people and have less overhead.
I prefer self checkout to the random how shitty will the teenager or old person be today lottery. I'm faster and can ensure things go into appropriate bags.
 

Dekoth-E-

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Until you're not, and you are that old person that you're younger self complains about.
I don't write checks so I'm pretty certain I'll never that person no matter how old I get. If it just happens that I do, that's what home delivery is for.
 
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