Fast Food’s Future?

BLOOMSBURG -- Several McDonald's restaurants in our area recently got an upgrade in technology. Now you don't have to wait in line. With a push of a button, the food comes to you.

It's the calm before lunch rush at McDonald's in Bloomsburg. Busy days are the norm for this restaurant, but this day is different. There is a new way to order. The new addition is a kiosk, aka another way to order food. McDonald's says it's been in the works for over a year. The chain is unveiling them slowly. Only about 2,500 stores nationwide have them. That now includes locations in the Poconos, Scranton, and Pottsville, which all got them this week.

"Not only can they take their time and put their order in on their own, they can sit down and relax. We'll bring the food out to them," owner Roland Kissinger said.

Yes, the future of fast food at McDonald's includes table service.

"We have this new system where it actually shows up on a map what table in the restaurant they're at so we can take their order out to them," Sandy Gatrell said.

After you get your meal, a couple of minutes later an employee comes back over to check on you. This adds to the guest experience. So far customers are "lovin' it."

"It took me a while, where do you find this at, where do you find that at? And then when she showed me, I'm like, 'oh, this is pretty easy,'" Matthew Brown said.

The pictures on the kiosk make it easy for customers to see what they want. Maybe too easy.

"And then he wants ice cream," Justin Miller said.

Employees say some customers are concerned that this new technology will eliminate some jobs, but McDonald's assures us it won't.

"Because of the table service and because we have somebody out here working with the customers," Kissinger said.

McDonald's says the goal is for all 14,000 stores in the United States to have the kiosks by the end of 2019.

15 comments

  • warningfakenews

    In reality, McDonald’s has been slow to embrace technology like this. Sheetz and many other competitors have been doing it for some time. They announced that they were going to do this right around the time burger flippers and order takers began protesting for $15 an hour. That wage WILL happen someday, obviously- from inflation alone, if not from some other course of action- but there will be less people earning money in McDonalds- and in every other place paying it.

    • Dave4223

      The $15.00 an hour proposals only started the last two years while Sheetz and others have had kiosks for much longer than that.
      You’re rewriting history.

    • Robert

      The article seems to leave out method and location of payment. Point of sale seems a safe bet, aka kiosk. That’s one $15 an hour job eliminated. We still need a person to do the service to tables, well that will be the manager or assistant manager who between serving orders will still have plenty of time to supervise and direct the employees assigned to cleanup and assembly of product. McDonalds’ no doubt has a sophisticated algorithm that will be used to determine peak business hours. Right down to high school football schedules and other local evens to help reduce the number of employees on payroll any given hour. Eliminates jobs? Well that depends on how you interpret things. With the turn over rate nobody will be fired, but less will be hired. Less hours for those that are on the clock. Less hours less money less benefits (if any at all) higher profit. By requiring business to pay a minimum rate for entry level jobs you have just reduced the number of entry jobs. McDonalds and others will evolve far faster and far smarter than the do good politicians that have no friggen clue what the end result will be. Now lets vote to raise the minimum wage to $20 an hour and buy stock in robotics. Make a killing in the stock market and screw our youth out of entry level jobs. I’m LUVEN IT!

      • David Miller

        This was coming regardless of any minimum wage hike and the manager at McDonald’s said it won’t take jobs away because you will have people bringing the food out and checking on customers.
        Stop with the right wing pro business propaganda.

      • AtxJH

        Like it or not but this is the future and society will have to embrace the change. Im in the IT industry and it’s not a matter of but when this form of technology and automation will be the norm. This is the beginning stage as real time analytics and IOT will revolutionize society. Unfortunatley jobs will be lost but people will adapt like they did in the 70s. There is always good and bad when it comes to change and people resistance but this will better a lot of lives especially in the healthcare industry. End of rant. PS I hate McDonald’s and fast food industry but embrace technology.

    • David Miller

      This has nothing to do with a $15 minimum wage. Automation is also happening at many well paying factories.

  • Eat The Cow At Home

    The best thing that could ever happen would be for all fast food joints to go out of business. Its not even what I would consider good food. Cook at home and save dollars and your health.

  • warningfakenews

    Ray Kroc’s book “Grinding it Out” said that this would never be something in a McDonald’s. Well, Ray didn’t have to face $15 an hour pay demands, so…
    Actually, McDonald’s has done many things Ray declared they’d never do- and that’s part of their problems today, the quality in particular has taken a major hit.

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