5th July 2011 / Tom Quarry
The concept of man vs. machines has been going on for years but only recently has it been catapulted to the forefront of mainstream media when President Obama took a swipe at kiosks and ATMs for world-wide unemployment numbers. But yet this follows reports by McDonalds that despite deploying hundreds of kiosks across its branches throughout Europe it has no plans to cut employees. The U.S President sat down in a Today show interview with Ann Curry a couple of weeks ago and slated the touch screen technology by saying how it had contributed to the nation’s unemployment figures. But yet the restaurant chain has announced that reports predicting its wide deployment of self-service kiosks would replace human jobs- are false. A spokesperson for McDonald’s Europe said: “Self-order kiosks are not designed to replace front-counter service. “Front counters remain a focal point of service where we have installed self-order kiosks, and customers can decide whether they wish to place their order at the counter or through kiosks. Staff are on hand in the dining area to assist customers using the kiosks.” The fast food giant has installed more than 840 kiosks throughout Europe including France and the UK. The spokesperson continued that deploying the kiosks wasn’t about cutting costs but rather to provide better customer service.
McDonald’s explain that the kiosks are not intended to reduce staff numbers and in fact they expect overall staff figures at the restaurants to increase as the business grows. They added that the restaurant relies on workers to man the machines and help customers unfamiliar with the kiosks on how to operate them as well as prepare food, assemble the order and deliver it to waiting customers. The spokesman added: that the kiosks “give customers the opportunity to take the time that they need to consider and place their order…based on feedback from some customers that (said) they would appreciate more time during the ordering process.” For more touch screen industry news click here.