Even the last refuge for the wearily unemployed — a part-time minimum wage job flipping burgers — will be phased out and replaced with machines.
McDonald’s plans on cutting back on millions in staff costs by replacing cashiers with touch-screen terminals and swipe cards at its 7,000 chain restaurants in Europe.
“McDonald’s is jumping on the technology bandwagon with a new system that will soon change the way European customers order food,” says Jennifer Booton with Fox News. “Picture computers instead of humans asking whether customers prefer fries and supersizes. The fast-food restaurant…will replace cashiers with touch-screen terminals and swipe cards at its 7,000 chain restaurants in Europe, according to the Financial Times. That would mean, in part, the end of cash payments.”
And when these new machines are installed in the U.S., last month’s 62,000 minimum wage, part time-job hires by McDonald’s will once again be standing in the unemployment line.
Booton says that in addition to the digital screens, McDonald’s will stay open longer, modernize its stores and introduce new menus in an effort to attract tech-dependent, spend-wary and health-conscious consumers. McDonald’s will be able to better track customer order trends and hone in on the most popular foods while cutting back on millions in staff costs.
McDonald’s also plans to spend $1 billion to remodel 14,000 of its American stores by 2015. Industry sources say the new revamped look is designed at luring customers away from standard fast-food competitors, as well as from the pricier chains like Chipotle and Panera Bread.
McDonalds has been implementing several global initiatives in an effort to keep sales high, says Booton, introducing oatmeal, fruit and coffee options on U.S. menus in an effort to attract health-conscious customers and those looking for an affordable breakfast, while modernizing its facilities around the world and adding free Wi-Fi services for the modern laptop and tablet user.
The changes, said McDonald’s president of Europe, Steve Easterbrook, will improve efficiency and smooth the ordering process for customers by making average transactions three to four seconds shorter than traditional methods.
“Even paying minimum wage appears to be too much of a chore for the world’s largest burger chain,” says financial analyst, Tyler Durden.