McDonalds has followed through on their threat to turn every store into a robotic extension of a central hub located somewhere in – well – India I think.
Today grabing a snack wrap and coke, after suffering the delay of the predetory sales pitch – this time to buy a 400 calorie smoothie made with 10% fruit juice – a male voice asks for my order.
“A grilled chicken snack wrap please, BarBQ and a diet coke.”
I pull up to the pay window and extend a $5 bill. But the woman can’t get the register to accept the transaction. Over and over she tries to interact with the robot order taker. Meanwhile down at the 2nd window a bag is bouncing up and down trying for my attention. “So this is automation, uh.”
As I drove away I considered the quality of this new experience. McDonalds, it sucks. Words like alienation, estrangement, and overhead came to mind. Why overhead? To create such a complex system costs money. Money that does not go to better quality food or workers pay scale. To add this overhead without increasing prices requires McDonalds to cut costs someplace else. Since McDonalds workers are already at minimum wage, the cost must be covered from the food. McDonalds has little room to move in that area.
So, to those fine Harvard (or Yale) MBA’s who thought having a centralized sweat shop ten thousand miles away is a good idea; to the suits who ignore that eating and obtaining food from other people is a very human thing, I say GOOD BYE. My wife and I spend almost $1,000 a year at a single McDonald’s store. Not any more. I have finally discovered I have limits. It’s way past the time we consumers need to kick a little butt. Come on people, rise up and yell, “I’M MAD AS HELL AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE.”