Ordering kiosks at McDonald's

Super S
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Re: Ordering kiosks at McDonald's

Post by Super S » January 31st, 2018, 10:53 pm

They have been rolling these out all over Washington state. Presumably due to having one of the highest minimum wages. I am not impressed. I have already been to two locations where there were no customers at the counter and was told I have to use the kiosk. Even though you still have to pay cash at the register. Forced kiosk ordering is not the way to do this. They aren't user friendly especially when you have food allergies and can't eat certain condiments/toppings.

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Re: Ordering kiosks at McDonald's

Post by BillyGr » February 1st, 2018, 5:53 pm

Super S wrote:
January 31st, 2018, 10:53 pm
They have been rolling these out all over Washington state. Presumably due to having one of the highest minimum wages. I am not impressed. I have already been to two locations where there were no customers at the counter and was told I have to use the kiosk. Even though you still have to pay cash at the register. Forced kiosk ordering is not the way to do this. They aren't user friendly especially when you have food allergies and can't eat certain condiments/toppings.
You'd think that would be easier to do with a kiosk (since it can be programmed to always ask questions like that, where a human can forget or not enter it correctly).
Maybe they'll get it working better (or allow special orders to speak to a cashier) when they start having to make orders twice (and thus raise their costs) when people return them due to things on them they don't want (or can't have).

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Re: Ordering kiosks at McDonald's

Post by storewanderer » February 1st, 2018, 9:49 pm

The kiosk has a very elaborate option to customize orders and has customization options I've never seen before.

With that said, here in Nevada, they have installed some of these kiosks the past few months (before that there were none around here). Nobody is using them. Nobody is being forced to use them either. In fact one time when I was using the kiosk the employee at the register noticed how long I was taking and offered to take my order because he said it would be faster that way.

The kiosk interface is slow, clunky, and cumbersome. It needs work. The screens are nice and big and graphics are very large. But the kiosks just work too slow.

I do not think these kiosks will be the answer to eliminating human order takers. The line would be out the door the kiosks are so slow...

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Re: Ordering kiosks at McDonald's

Post by Super S » February 3rd, 2018, 7:50 am

storewanderer wrote:
February 1st, 2018, 9:49 pm
The kiosk has a very elaborate option to customize orders and has customization options I've never seen before.

With that said, here in Nevada, they have installed some of these kiosks the past few months (before that there were none around here). Nobody is using them. Nobody is being forced to use them either. In fact one time when I was using the kiosk the employee at the register noticed how long I was taking and offered to take my order because he said it would be faster that way.

The kiosk interface is slow, clunky, and cumbersome. It needs work. The screens are nice and big and graphics are very large. But the kiosks just work too slow.

I do not think these kiosks will be the answer to eliminating human order takers. The line would be out the door the kiosks are so slow...
I could not see a customization screen for requesting certain toppings not be added and had to wait for somebody to come help (who didn't seem particularly interested in helping me but also wouldn't just take the order at the counter) McDonald's is a place that I mainly go to for breakfast, and those items are ok for me to order as is. The kiosks are ok for that I guess. But if paying cash, either make the kiosk capable of taking cash, or just let me order at the counter. A two-step process doesn't speed things up, it does the opposite.

I am curious how widely these are being used in the states where the minimum wage is still lower.

McDonald's is known for their consistency, but I see the kiosks causing issues with that. Hopefully they still have their "secret shoppers" that they periodically send into restaurants that take note of how the kiosks are working in the real world...

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Re: Ordering kiosks at McDonald's

Post by storewanderer » February 3rd, 2018, 10:36 pm

I just don't see it with these kiosks.

The cashless push is interesting because I think a lot of McDonalds franchisees know how much they pay to accept credit cards and don't like it. Maybe the processing cost has finally become less than the labor to handle the cash.

Maybe in locations with a bunch of single customers who aren't ordering much the kiosk can work. Maybe at limited locations like the McDonalds in the San Francisco Financial District.

One McDonalds I go to often has a large indoor playplace. It is not unusual to go in there on a weekend and have a busy customer ordering 4-5 happy meals and their own meal or maybe just a drink or snack. But the happy meals have a ton of customization options. Is it for a boy or a girl or toddler? What side item? Do you want the apple slices or do you want extra fries? What drink? Do that times 5 and you will be at that kiosk for about 8 minutes. It is just faster with an employee.

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Re: Ordering kiosks at McDonald's

Post by storewanderer » March 10th, 2018, 10:50 pm

I came across a McDonalds in South Lake Tahoe, CA which recently remodeled.

They did something interesting: the drinks (which used to be self serve) are now employee serve only.

They also have order kiosks here and have an employee stationed at the kiosk area to take orders (nobody is behind the regular registers but she was going over there to collect cash and to fill up drinks).

Back to the drinks, I don't really care if it is employee serve or customer serve. You can still get refills, so what difference does it make. Then I watched a customer go up and ask for a drink refill. He handed over his cup and the employee took it, and asked him if he wanted more ice. The customer asked for more ice and the employee proceeded to stick the cup into the big barrel of ice rather than using the scoop. Pretty gross given it was a used cup... not sure if there was a scoop there or not to use; other customers ordering drinks had their (new) cups also put directly into the barrel of ice to get the ice.

I have noticed at Chickfila where drinks are employee serve, they always use the scoop to handle ice... their foam cups would probably self-destruct if they tried to put them into the ice barrel anyway. Maybe that is another good attribute of foam cups: it forces the employees to properly dispense the ice using a scoop.

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Re: Ordering kiosks at McDonald's

Post by architect » March 11th, 2018, 12:24 pm

storewanderer wrote:
March 10th, 2018, 10:50 pm
Back to the drinks, I don't really care if it is employee serve or customer serve. You can still get refills, so what difference does it make. Then I watched a customer go up and ask for a drink refill. He handed over his cup and the employee took it, and asked him if he wanted more ice. The customer asked for more ice and the employee proceeded to stick the cup into the big barrel of ice rather than using the scoop. Pretty gross given it was a used cup... not sure if there was a scoop there or not to use; other customers ordering drinks had their (new) cups also put directly into the barrel of ice to get the ice.

I have noticed at Chickfila where drinks are employee serve, they always use the scoop to handle ice... their foam cups would probably self-destruct if they tried to put them into the ice barrel anyway. Maybe that is another good attribute of foam cups: it forces the employees to properly dispense the ice using a scoop.
What happened at this McDonald's is against health code in most places; the Chick-fil-A method of using a scoop is the correct method for refilling ice. If a scoop was not available, the McDonald's could have also used an unused cup as a makeshift scoop.

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Re: Ordering kiosks at McDonald's

Post by architect » March 12th, 2018, 5:09 pm

Earlier today, I had my first stateside experience with the order kiosks at a McDonald's in Richardson, TX (though I had used one several years back at an airport McDonald's in Madrid). The restaurant in question was recently shut down for quite some type and extensively remodeled into the chain's latest prototype, which overall just felt poorly designed. The first odd thing about this location was the fact that the primary entrance doors were located near the very front of the restaurant adjacent to the playground, which then required patrons to backtrack into the restaurant somewhat to reach the kiosks/main seating area. This is also extremely unsafe as it could create a situation in which kids at the playground could easily run out of the entry doors and into the parking lot. Like other have reported, all orders were being taken at the kiosks, but an employee was standing nearby to help guide you through the process. The kiosks were straightforward to navigate for individual items, but difficult to navigate for meals. Once your order was inputed and paid for, the employee entered the number on an electronic table tent marker, which was given to help the kitchen staff bring the food to you. However, in reality, the employee who delivered my order to the table was still forced to search around almost the entire restaurant before finding me, proving that there are major kinks in the system. Also, the order took excessively long to be completed, almost 15 minutes. I really did not see any tangible improvement in efficiency for the kiosks, as just as many employees were required to both guide customers through the ordering process and deliver orders to tables.

Side note, this location also had a separate coffee/pastry bar to one side of the restaurant, which was currently unstaffed (but equipped with a register) and was also only stocked with a few ready to heat pastries. It honeslty just seemed like a waste of space, as the selection was not appealing at all.

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Re: Ordering kiosks at McDonald's

Post by klkla » March 13th, 2018, 5:22 pm

It sounds like they are over complicating it.

There is a Jack in the Box near my office that had an ordering Kiosk and I actually liked it. You just walked up to the screen, ordered and then swiped your credit card. A few minutes later they called your name and you picked up your food.

It was faster and more accurate. They never got my order wrong when they had it.

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Re: Ordering kiosks at McDonald's

Post by rwsandiego » March 13th, 2018, 7:50 pm

storewanderer wrote:
March 10th, 2018, 10:50 pm
I came across a McDonalds in South Lake Tahoe, CA which recently remodeled.

They did something interesting: the drinks (which used to be self serve) are now employee serve only.

They also have order kiosks here and have an employee stationed at the kiosk area to take orders (nobody is behind the regular registers but she was going over there to collect cash and to fill up drinks).

Back to the drinks, I don't really care if it is employee serve or customer serve. You can still get refills, so what difference does it make. Then I watched a customer go up and ask for a drink refill. He handed over his cup and the employee took it, and asked him if he wanted more ice. The customer asked for more ice and the employee proceeded to stick the cup into the big barrel of ice rather than using the scoop. Pretty gross given it was a used cup... not sure if there was a scoop there or not to use; other customers ordering drinks had their (new) cups also put directly into the barrel of ice to get the ice.

I have noticed at Chickfila where drinks are employee serve, they always use the scoop to handle ice... their foam cups would probably self-destruct if they tried to put them into the ice barrel anyway. Maybe that is another good attribute of foam cups: it forces the employees to properly dispense the ice using a scoop.
My first job was at a company-owned McDonald's. Under no circumstances were we ever to stick a cup (unused or otherwise) into the ice chest. We were to use the scoop. I've never seen a store do what you described. Makes me wonder if this is a rogue store. I'd probably call Oakbrook and complain.

Regarding their order kiosks, they are fairly easy to use, but for something routine like a soft drink you have to wait until your number is called, which seems rather silly.

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