Aug 12 2017
04:25 pm

A West Knoxville McDonald's is adding self-service kiosks
. I noticed the Panera in Alcoa is adding self-service kiosks.

Too bad. They say we'll get our orders right since we are entering them. But we're not preparing the orders. The stores are just trying to save money. I'll miss the human interaction. Recently on a visit to Panera the order taker asked the Mr., What'll you have buddy. For some reason I laughed. It just sounded weird. The kiosk will probably not make me laugh. If the kiosk is anything like the self-check out at the grocery stores, I'll get frustrated and always look for a human cashier.

Times, they are a changin.

R. Neal's picture

I laughed too because it was

I laughed too because it was pretty funny. I made fun of him, calling him pal and amigo. He was a little embarrassed and said he was sorry. I just laughed and told him no need to apologize.

Treehouse's picture

I don't like it

At the Panera in Bearden, I didn't notice the ordering kiosks until later. I still talked to a person, was given a device to place on my table and they'd deliver it. I still had to walk to the end of the space to get my own drink. It seemed to take a long time to get the delivery. One guy who worked there walked around and around I don't know whey. It was impersonal and not pleasant.

tlc's picture

My Experience

There's a McD's in my area at which I get a salad once a week....(don't ask why). Some months ago, the place was remodeled, including the parking lot...all of which was a royal pain enough. They also installed these self-ordering kiosks. And, based on my experience & observation, it was a total disaster. It took far longer to place one's order and the lines actually backed up worse than with human order takers at the counter, esp'y as we all inevitably screwed up and had to re-do our order attempts. Btw...there was no was use the kiosks or go home and thank you very much. For anyone who'd eventually master the process, there'd be newbies in front of you, inevitably.

Then, the store made it "optional" to just go up to the counter and still order from a clerk. Now, no one uses the kiosks and they're just in the way, collecting detritus, like spare monuments from "2001: A Space Odyssey." I'll not speculate about Panera, et al...but, seriously, who thinks this stuff up and actually expects it to work in the real world?

R. Neal's picture

thinks this stuff upMBAs and

who thinks this stuff up

MBAs and marketing hacks who never worked in or go to fast food joints.

tlc's picture


Yup. And I felt bad for the people working at "my" Mickey D's who had to bear the very vocal complaints...including mine, frankly. I know we all have heavier crosses to bear in our daily lives, but sometimes it's the sheer stupidity of something that cries out for a reaction.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

Fmr. McDonald's USA CEO: $35K

Fmr. McDonald's USA CEO: $35K Robots Cheaper Than Hiring at $15 Per Hour

Said on Fox News last year that he can buy a $35K mechanical arm to man the fry station better, it can work 24/7 for forever, and it pays for itself in one year.

Reminder: Automation and AI will hit your job next, as 62% of Americans earn under $20/hr and the vast majority of these positions were not expected to exist in 20 years as of the date of the 2013 study to have determined it (so within 16 years, now).

Tamara Shepherd's picture


... 62% of Americans earn under $20/hr and the vast majority of these positions were not expected to exist in 20 years as of the date of the 2013 study to have determined it (so within 16 years, now).

I was referring there to Frey & Osborne's study out of Oxford in 2013, THE FUTURE OF EMPLOYMENT: HOW SUSCEPTIBLE ARE JOBS TO COMPUTERISATION?, which is oft-cited these days.

Check out their appendix, starting on page 57, which gauges the probability of automation in 702 existing occupations over "the next decade or two."

Interestingly, there are 261 existing occupations they say stand a higher probability of automation in that timeframe than does even the occupation of "Cooks-fast food," which is #441 (ranked from 1 to 702 by increasing probability of automation).

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