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This article was published on May 16, 2011

    McDonald’s to begin replacing humans with terminals and swipe cards

    McDonald’s to begin replacing humans with terminals and swipe cards
    Francis Tan
    Story by

    Francis Tan

    Francis Tan is the Asia editor of TNW, who is based in the Philippines. He is particularly interested in Asian Internet startups, social me Francis Tan is the Asia editor of TNW, who is based in the Philippines. He is particularly interested in Asian Internet startups, social media and e-commerce. Get in touch with him via Twitter @francistan or Email [email protected].

    McDonald’s is about to revolutionize the way customers order meals in its restaurants by introducing touchscreen terminals and swipe cards, replacing cashiers and the use of banknotes at its 7,000 fast-food restaurants in Europe reports the FT.

    Fast food ordering has been pretty much the same for the past 30 to 40 years. McDonald’s first major effort to shake things up aims to attract time conscious and cash-strapped customers by making its restaurants more convenient and user-friendly.

    Serving more than 2 million customers a day all over the region, Steve Easterbrook, president of McDonald’s Europe, said that the changes would make life easier for consumers as well as improve efficiency with average transactions three to four seconds shorter for each customer. Additionally, the new technology would allow McDonald’s to gather more information about customers’ ordering habits.

    There are, however, people who are less than enthusiastic about the initiative. A 21-year-old was quoted saying: “I’m looking for work and if there’s more machines doing jobs I’ll find it harder. Plus you won’t get service with a smile.”

    The fast-food giant also has plans on refurbishing stores, and introducing longer opening hours and new menus.

    I know if the machines in supermarkets are anything to go by, I for one am going to miss the human touch. (Update: That said, at least one person who has tried one rates it highly)