Workers complaining because McDonald’s would not raise their wages might want to start looking for other jobs sooner rather than later: CEO Steve Easterbrook has announced that by 2020, every McDonald's in the U.S. will be stocked with self-order kiosks.
1,000 stores will get the new kiosks every quarter for the next two years; they already exist in around 3,500 of the roughly 14,000 domestic outlets. Half of the McDonald’s in the United States will feature the kiosks by the end of this year; the locations in Australia, Canada, and the U.K. are running ahead of the American stores.
Easterbrook told CNBC that customers who use the kiosks tend to browse the menu and order more food. He stated that the restaurant chain was simply adding more options:
If you think about only two years ago, if you were a customer there were two ways you can get served at McDonald's. You walked to the front counter and line up and take your drink and find a table or you go through the drive through. We're introducing many options. They can order through mobile, they can come curbside and we'll run it out as well as the existing traditional ways. You can pay in different ways and customize your food in different ways. I think we're trying to add more choice and variety.
McDonald's spokesperson Terri Hickey told BuzzFeed News the restaurants with the kiosks will "still have cashiers — kiosks provide another option for customers to order and pay. We’re finding with kiosks, customers tend to feel less rushed, take their time, browse the menu, and often order more."
Hickey added that the cashiers who will no longer be needed will work elsewhere in the restaurants in “positions like Guest Experience Leaders and table service."