The future is now… at least in terms of how we order our hamburgers.
Fast-food mega-chain McDonald’s recently launched a new self-serve location in downtown L.A. at 201 W. Washington Blvd.
The location lets customers place orders through digital kiosks (bypassing human cashiers), and is one of only 18 that the company is testing nationwide as part of a ‘Create Your Taste’ program, per the L.A. Times.
Instead of your standard McDonald’s counter (see below) the newly renovated restaurant includes padded benches, pendant lighting, murals, and individual kiosk stations where customers put in their food requests.
As the LAist explains, here’s the how service works:
You place an order at the kiosk, fully customizing every aspect of your meal with the touch-screen interface, including types of buns, patties (100% beef or 1/3 Sirloin), cheeses or condiments.
There’s even additional toppings you can add at no additional charge such as chili-lime tortilla strips, guacamole, red onion slices, tomatoes, pickles, grilled mushrooms, grilled onions and lettuce leaves. Sauce options for the burgers include the regular ketchup and mustard, plus sweet barbecue, creamy garlic and peppercorn.
Once your meal is ready a pager alerts you and the food is delivered to your table.
It seems to me if the self-serve kiosks catch on it won’t be long before the automation spreads well-beyond just the 18 pilot locations and is seen at virtually every McDonald’s (probably a few years down the road, but still…).
But how do you feel about? Will you even miss the human element in your fast-food experience…?
Honestly, I don’t think I will.
Then again, I can’t even remember the last time I went to McDonald’s (just saying).