Ahead of the kiosks

McDonald’s is planning to add self-order kiosks to 1,000 stores each quarter.That means you”ll be most likely ordering your next happy meal from kiosks rather than placing the order with a McDonald’s employee. The benefits of self-order kiosks for customers are touted as faster service, more choices, more efficient and so forth. The unspoken truth behind this is that McDonald’s will need less employees now that the self-order kiosks have arrived.

McDonald’s CEO: Offering customers new ordering options from CNBC.

There will be fewer employees needed in each McDonald’s as┬áthe company plans to upgrade 1,000 stores with this technology every quarter for the next eight to nine quarters. That’s almost 10 or 11 stores a day. As the kiosks make things so much easier for consumers, what value can a McDonald’s employee (or any retail employee) add to the customer service experience? Not all is lost to the kiosks though. Employees can offer the best of what we humans do. Consider these scenarios: smiling with enthusiasm when a customer chooses to order the “traditional way”, showing more care to customers around the store, welcoming customers enthusiastically to the store, making customers feel wanted and catered to around the store, apologizing for any mistake(s) made in the customer service experience to name a few. Kiosks cannot do (as of now) what we humans do naturally-smile, care, respect, praise, love, apologize, connect, feel, share stories etc.

As we head towards the future we’ll have to give customers a way better reason to order from a human than a machine. If we can’t, then we’ll start to see a lot of McDonald’s around the country and globally with a location, several kiosks, robots making burger/fries and that will be your customer experience at McDonald’s.