European McDonald’s Partially Replacing Employees with Touchscreen Terminals
Posted May 20, 2011on:
McDonald’s is to change the way customers order its meals in Europe, partly replacing cashiers and the use of banknotes at its 7,000 fast-food restaurants in the region with touchscreen terminals and swipe cards.
Mr Easterbrook said that the changes would make life easier for consumers as well as improve efficiency, with average transactions three to four seconds shorter for each customer. McDonald’s European stores serve 2m customers a day.
Diners at the 1,200 McDonald’s outlets in the UK will shortly be able to pay by simply swiping a Visa debit card, just as London’s commuters can swipe their Oyster cards at train stations.
Fast food ordering has been pretty much the same for the past 30 to 40 years. McDonald’s first major effort to shake things up aims to attract time conscious and cash-strapped customers by making its restaurants more convenient and user-friendly.
Serving more than 2 million customers a day all over the region, Steve Easterbrook, president of McDonald’s Europe, said that the changes would make life easier for consumers as well as improve efficiency with average transactions three to four seconds shorter for each customer. Additionally, the new technology would allow McDonald’s to gather more information about customers’ ordering habits.
There are, however, people who are less than enthusiastic about the initiative. A 21-year-old was quoted saying: “I’m looking for work and if there’s more machines doing jobs I’ll find it harder. Plus you won’t get service with a smile.”