Make $15/hour at McDonald’s? Just hope you talk to a real person

Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia
Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia

McDonald’s had a bad Tuesday. They released their quarterly earnings report on Tuesday and through it we discovered that the fast food chain a 30% decline in quarterly profits on a 5% drop in revenues. It wasn’t one region that brought the decline. Sales were weak in China, Europe and the United States. [1]

In that report, however, was a hint into the future business strategy of the world’s largest restaurant. According to the Wall Street Journal,

By the third quarter of next year, McDonald’s plans to introduce new technology in some markets “to make it easier for customers to order and pay for food digitally and to give people the ability to customize their orders,” reports the Journal. Mr. Thompson, the CEO, said Tuesday that customers “want to personalize their meals” and “to enjoy eating in a contemporary, inviting atmosphere. And they want choices in how they order, choices in what they order and how they’re served.” [1]

What does that mean? Here’s my translation:

We’re gonna be putting in kiosk’s that let a person place their order, personalize their order, and pay for their order without the need of a person to take their order.

Add this article from Business Insider, published on August 11, 2014: Here’s The Burger-Flipping Robot That Could Put Fast-Food Workers Out Of A Job. A company named Momentum Machines has created a robot that can crank out 360 burgers per hour. The robot:

can “slice toppings like tomatoes and pickles immediately before it places the slice onto your burger, giving you the freshest burger possible.” The robot is “more consistent, more sanitary, and can produce ~360 hamburgers per hour.” That’s one burger every 10 seconds.

The next generation of the device will offer “custom meat grinds for every single customer. Want a patty with 1/3 pork and 2/3 bison ground to order? No problem.”

What are they trying to do? The “device isn’t meant to make employees more efficient. It’s meant to completely obviate them,” according to the company’s owner.

So McDonald’s is going to have kiosks where you can place and pay for your order, and they will have a robot that will cut the veggies and make the burger for you to your exact liking, no human needed.

There won’t be $15/hour jobs at McDonalds or any other fast food restaurant. You’ll be lucky to talk to a real person.


[1] Minimum Wage Backfire

David has been a systems thinker most of his life. He has started three businesses as well as designed and developed systems and processes in existing organizations. He has a Doctorate in Leadership and has also done additional post-graduate work in communications.

He has also pastored 3 churches and loves to think about, write about and podcast about scripture, theology, and leadership.

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