January 27, 2023

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

There’s a McDonald’s franchise in Fort Worth, Texas unlike any other you’ve been to. When entering the restaurant you notice that it is small. Plus, there are no tired-looking teens running the tills. Robots are driving it and its success or failure may point to the near future of fast food.

News week posted about the experimental McDonald’s after a video by foodiemunster, a TikToker and Instagram user, went viral.

The video, which has been viewed more than a million times, illustrates the ordering and collection process. It’s not that different from the newer human-manned McDonald’s, where you order using touchscreens. The change is evident when customers collect their food from an automated machine server.

In a statement quoted by News weekMcDonald’s explained why the robot-operated restaurant is so small and how it works:

When you step into the test restaurant concept, you will notice that it is significantly smaller than a traditional McDonald’s restaurant in the US. Why? The functions – indoor and outdoor – are aimed at customers who plan to dine at home or on the go…

In the restaurant there is a collection area for delivery drivers to pick up orders quickly and easily. There are also kiosks where customers can place their orders and a pick-up rack for orders. Outside the restaurant there are several parking spaces dedicated to picking up orders, as well as dedicated parking spaces for delivery drivers.

Reactions from those who commented on foodiemunster’s video reflect an ongoing debate about automation across industries. “It’s cool, but I don’t think I’m a fan,” said one Instagram commenter, “I rely on the indoor playgrounds… Also, there’s too much automated stuff happening already and I feel like we don’t need that more things where you don’t interact with real people I don’t know.”

News week citing other comments that were more candid, one person wrote, “Well, there go millions of jobs,” and another said that if the company joins the experiment, “I’ll just boycott McDonald’s, their food is mediocre at best.”

There has been a heated debate about similar automation to self-checkout in retail since the latter was introduced in 1986. As CNN noted in an article published in July of this year, 67% of retail shoppers said they “have experienced an outage experienced at the self-checkout”. check out line.”

According to news week, this is a unique experiment for McDonald’s to see how it goes. However, if the fast food giant rates it as a success, you’ll probably be plucking your Big Mac and fries from cold robotic hands sometime in the near future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *