Reader Rant: McDonalds Goes Robotic (finally)

by on September 10, 2010 · 16 comments

in Culture, Economy, Environment, Health, Reader Rant, San Diego

McDonaldsby JEC

It’s happened.

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.”

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

BillRayDrums September 10, 2010 at 9:30 am

I’ve not eaten a McBurger in over 15 years. Read “Fast Food Nation” by Eric Schlosser and you too can practice avoidance of the original “Weapon of mass destruction”, nee’ “Big Mac Attack”.


Goatskull September 10, 2010 at 12:01 pm

I saw the movie Supersize Me about 5 years ago and it was quite informative. Any way, in SD we have Hodad’s, The Tilted Stick (my favorite OB hang out), Rocky’s, NuNu’s in Hillcres (My fave burger), The Waterfront in Little Italy, Five Guys in PT Loma, Bareback Grill, Crazy Burger in North Park, my own at home. Not sure why any one even goes to Mcdoogles.


Frank Gormlie September 10, 2010 at 12:41 pm

What’s Five Guys in PL or where I should ask?


Goatskull September 10, 2010 at 12:57 pm

It’s actually a small chain and there’s on in Liberty Station and also North Island.

Liberty Station
2445 Truxtun Road
San Diego, CA 92106

Tel: 619-223-1679
Fax: 619-223-2678

Get Directions
2.1miNaval Air Station North Island
Naval Air Station North Island Bldg. 2017
San Diego, CA 92135

Tel: 619-522-9604
Fax: 619-522-9658


dave rice September 10, 2010 at 2:15 pm

Actually quite a big chain back east, they’ve just started to expand into CA. Supposed to be one of the absolute least healthy (but tastiest) fast food burgers around.


Jon September 10, 2010 at 9:39 am

You will be much happier and healthier for staying away from McD’s. But don’t just trade it out for Burger King or Taco Hell. Spend the extra few bucks and eat healthy and local whenever possible. Join People’s co-op! I can spend $5 in their deli and get a giant plate of healthy, organic food and a smile from the staff that mostly live in my own neighborhood. Your body will thank you 1,000 times over. Congratulations on quitting McD’s!! It ain’t easy, I know.


Avery September 14, 2010 at 9:40 am

Haven’t eaten McD’s for years myself, but the typical fast-food consumer thinking they’ll get delicious, appetizing, familiar-looking food at People’s Market is in for a rude awakening. Though I support them through my membership, one pass through the deli was enough for me. Dirty display cases feature wilted salads and colorless entrees of indeterminate base ingredients. Several shelves of pastries labeled “cookies” seemed more like waxy dollops of day-old oatmeal.
Yes, spend your food dollars locally. Yes, choose fresh whole foods. Yes, be involved in the community. And just perhaps, local vendors and businesses will have the support they need to seriously upgrade their product.


Jon September 14, 2010 at 10:42 am

To each their own. I repectfully, yet strongly disagree with your opinion. I eat at the deli a few times a week, and have never experienced wilted salad. I would let them know immediately if that were the case, and they would probably be embarassed and change it out for a fresh one right away. They are very accomodating there. You may have gone after a lunch rush when they were getting ready to restock or something. But if a salad is unfamiliar and colorless looking to you, perhaps you have deeper issues.


dc0de September 27, 2010 at 7:55 pm

I would have joined the coop if they sold meat. Their stoic belief that meat is bad is dated and ignorant. I currently pay good money for top choice lean elk, deer, ostrich, bison, and beef.

Too bad Peoples is so jaded they don’t want my business.


Sarah September 10, 2010 at 9:34 am

JEC – Welcome to my world. It’s lonley out here but you save a lot of money. Once you start really examining where your goods and services come from and begin to see who profits from your dollar and how… well, your penny jar starts to fill up and your waist line begins to shrink.

The only power I have is where I spend my money and with whom I spend my time and I’ll exercise that power, even if it means I’m lonely and people point and laugh.



Jon September 10, 2010 at 5:47 pm

And if automated drive thru windows with operators from India manning the controls aren’t enough to make you question McDonalds, try this on for (super)size…

This person has been photographing a happy meal for close to a year, and it has yet to decompose or mold. Even MOLD doesn’t wanna eat that crap!


Brian September 14, 2010 at 12:14 pm

That’s great news. The cost of stocking my bomb shelter with food just dropped precipitously.


Marisa September 10, 2010 at 7:16 pm

The burger I make at home beats any fast food place’s burger hands down any day. Lean ground sirloin, harvarti cheese, thin slivers of red onion (THIN), brandywine tomato slices from my own garden, a toasted bun from the mexican bakery down the street. For the price of 2 McDonalds meals…I can feed 6 of us with homemade….low sodium, fresh ingredients…. and really, how long does it take to make a burger…. about 10 minutes?


Jon September 15, 2010 at 10:31 am

And where do you live Marisa? I have 5 hungry friends.


tj September 15, 2010 at 7:56 am

Chickens are intelligent animals with wonderful personalities – & do NOT deserve this horrible treatment.

– You cast your vote, where you spend your $$$. –


dc0de September 27, 2010 at 7:57 pm

Yeah, but they’re tasty, tasty animals!!!


Leave a Comment

Older Article:

Newer Article: