Tuesday, July 16, 2019

McDonald’s Tests Robot Fryers and Voice-Activated Drive-Throughs: Burger giant wants to speed service as competition for fast-food diners mounts

By Heather Haddon of The WSJ.

In my macroeconomics class, we talk about the types of unemployment. Here is one of them:

Structural-unemployment caused by a mismatch between the skills of job seekers and the requirements of available jobs. One example of this is when you are replaced by a machine.

Unions say this will cut jobs. But that is not always the case. Some of my related posts talk about how robots and machines complement the workers. Also, some companies either need to cut costs or can't find enough workers. Here are excerpts from the article:
"McDonald’s Corp. MCD -0.22% is designing voice-activated drive-throughs and robotic deep-fryers as the burger giant works to streamline its menu and operations to speed up service.

The company is testing voice-recognition software at a drive-through in suburban Chicago. Inside the restaurant, a robot also tosses chicken, fish and fries into vats of oil. Both technologies are meant to shorten customer wait times that executives acknowledge have grown in recent years. McDonald’s also has stopped serving some burgers and given franchisees more control over their menus recently to simplify operations.

McDonald’s is working to speed up service as it faces tough competition from smaller burger chains and declining fast-food traffic in the U.S. overall. Visits to U.S. fast-food burger restaurants fell 1% during the first three months of this year, according to research firm NPD Group Inc. McDonald’s said in April that its global same-store sales rose 5.4% in the first quarter."

"Other fast-food chains are also exploring automation to quicken operations and cut costs in an expensive labor market."

"Union organizers who have tried to organize McDonald’s employees in recent years have said automation would eliminate jobs. They have organized walkouts this year over working conditions and pay at the biggest U.S. fast-food chain."

"Domino’s Pizza Inc. last year began testing voice recognition to take orders over the phone. Other chains are testing self-operating ovens and dishwashers, along with robots that flip burgers and perform other rote tasks.
Related posts:

Is Walmart adding robots to replace workers or because it is hard to find workers?

Robot Journalists-A Case Of Structural Unemployment?

Structural Unemployment In The News-Computers Can Now Tell Jokes 

WHAT do you get when you cross a fragrance with an actor?

Answer: a smell Gibson.

Robot jockeys in camel races

Are Computer Programs Replacing Journalists?

Automation Can Actually Create More Jobs 

The Robots Are Coming And It Might Not Be A Case of Structural Unemployment 

Broncos to debut beer-pouring robot at upcoming game

Robots Are Ready to Shake (and Stir) Up Bars 


Scott Gustafson said...

Little Caesar's pizza allows orders via either an app on your phone or through a browser. It also handles payment. You pick up your pizza from their in store pizza portal. The store employees tell me that they love it. No time on the phone taking an order and making sure they get it right. No time at the cash register. Fewer people waiting in the store for their pizza. All in all, it probably saves them about 10 minutes per order. That translates into a lot of margin in the pizza business.

Cyril Morong said...

That's interesting. Thanks for sharing and reading.