Would you like files with that? McDonalds’ latest employees are a bunch of uneducated androids
If the state of the economy weren't bad enough, that last vestige of the unwashed and uneducated is now under threat. In an interview with the Financial Times, McDonalds Europe president, Steve Easterbrook announced that the newest recruits to its 7,000 European stores will be computer terminals.
Think self-service tills at the supermarket and you have got the gist. Instead of having to speak to a human being*, you can simply input your order, swipe your card, and grab your grub. No details on the delivery method of the actual food are available as yet, but we are hoping for a teeny little train with carriages brimming with burgers.
This move is part of McDonalds' efforts to “woo cash-strapped customers". It is also reportedly refurbishing stores and introducing longer opening hours and new menus. Presumably this means new food on the menu, as opposed to just rewriting the same old stuff in a new font.
Mr Easterbrook said that the computers will not only make life easier for consumers (ask any baby and they'll tell you poking a finger is much easier than verbal articulation) but will also save that all-too-precious resource, time. He estimates the computerised servers will shave an average three to four seconds for each customer. Given that McDonald's European stores serve 2m customers a day, the time saving alone would work out at a whopping salary saving £11,531 a day, based on not paying a slower human national minimum wage.
Consumers are apparently divided on the issue. The FT wandered around Wimbledon in search of interviewees with difficult to spell names. Weiky Filho was in favour of the changes. “You don't need to communicate with staff and it would be much quicker," he said, having obviously read the previous paragraph.
But Joe Surkitz, on the other hand, was not a fan. “I'm looking for work and if there's more machines doing jobs I'll find it harder," he complained, before adding “plus you won't get service with a smile." Do what?
*debatable in some cases