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Mar 10, 2023

Revolutionizing Fast Food with Automation: McDonald's First Automated Restaurant 

McDonald's automated

Once again, automation has been used to make work processes quicker and more efficient. In Fort Worth, Texas, McDonald's introduced the first automated restaurant and is now open for business to serve customers.

Instead of being served by humans, customers can order with a touch screen device and will be served their food by a conveyor belt. Customers can also order at any time and pick up their order when it is prepared. This concept aims to “use enhanced technology that allows the restaurant team to begin preparing customers’ orders when they’re near the restaurant”. The goal is to improve accuracy and speed. (theguardian)

Click here to view how the restaurant operates.  

Limitations and Criticisms of Automation in the Food Industry 

This shift towards automation has the potential to be a success for food chains significantly. However, it also raises concerns about the future of human jobs in the industry. 

Despite its advantages, there have been critics of this new invention, stating that it takes over the jobs of those who need them; and that relying on machines to do work traditionally done by humans raises ethical and financial concerns. Additionally, automated systems are not perfect and are prone to errors, which can be frustrating when it doesn't function properly when a user wants to order. 

While automation has many benefits, human interaction is still imperative for many tasks to make work efficient. 

There is a video available that highlights issues with the new automated systems at McDonald's, where the machinery does not always understand human language, and a human employee has to intervene to help with the order. This video demonstrates that, despite the benefits of automation, there are still limitations to what it can achieve. 

Overall, McDonald's opening of the first automated restaurant signals a significant shift toward automation in the fast food sector. Although this innovation promises to increase speed and accuracy, lower labor costs, and streamline work processes, it is also important to take into account the future of human jobs and any potential ethical repercussions of using machines to perform tasks that humans have traditionally performed.

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