If your "high tech" doesn't work for your customers, what good is it?

Had to run some errands today, so decided to check out the newly remodeled dining room at Mickey D’s.

Entering the dining room, I was informed that it is no longer possible to enter my order at the counter. I must use their touch screen kiosk. I like to think I’m a fairly bright lad, having used ATMs for 30 years and self-scan lanes at the grocery store for 20, so I mosied up to a kiosk.

The thing was reluctant to accept my pokes, but I’m stubborn, so, eventually, got my order entered. Got to the screen where I was offered options to pay by credit card at the kiosk, or cash at the counter. I poked the “pay here by card” option, as there was no-one at the counter, and the button changed color, presumably indicating it registered my poke. Then proceedings came to a halt. No prompt on the kiosk screen, or card terminal screen, to put my card in. Put the card in anyway, and waited. No response from the terminal. Then the kiosk screen timed out and asked if I wanted to cancel the order or proceed. I poked cancel, but it went back to the payment screen. I pushed the physical button on the kiosk for “help”, and the top of the kiosk lit up orange. I kept fighting with the thing (did I mention I’m stubborn?) to no avail. I tried to flag down the girl taking trays to tables for help, but she whooshed past me. After about three trips through that payment screen time out loop, the kiosk finally got back to the start order screen. There was never any response by store staff to the orange “help” light on the kiosk. I shrugged, muttered “this is clearly beyond my ken”, and walked out, never to return.

The place was busy, stack of cars at the drive up, half a dozen people in the dining room who had, somehow, entered orders. Why? The food isn’t that good. Having to fight with the kiosk means the food is no longer fast either. Why do people patronize the place?

After stops at the gas station, post office, and Arby’s (staffed by people, good and fast food), I mosied home…and checked the bank’s web site to make sure Mickey D’s had not billed me for the food I tried, futilely, to order.



Funny story. And I had the exact same experience, except mine was at Wendy’s, and it had a happier ending. I finally got the attention of one of the people back in the kitchen who took my credit card (which the counter facing machine would not), swiped it, and muttered “that thing never works”

However I did get my food, it was acceptable, but it will be a while before I go back to face that ridiculous kiosk.

McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Whataburger, Panera Bread. All using the kiosk to take orders. Its almost like the companies do not want their customers to ever interact with a human being in their stores.

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It may be that, or if our kids (in their 30’s) are any indication, they would much rather interact with technology than deal with people I’d say.



Human beings (labor) are expensive, especially these days.


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I think there is a McD App, so it can be done remotely but I haven’t ventured there yet as it’s a rare visit… Most visits are for a pit stop on our 100+ mile trips out of the area, but I have seen their kiosks, let them alone, had a counter person, and we were off…

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While all of the five Mickey D’s that I have been in, over the last couple years, have the kiosks, this was the first time they required everyone to use them. Sort of like some of the times I have been in WalMart, where all the manned checkout lanes are closed, and I had no alternative but use the self-scan, which worked perfectly fine.

I have not, yet, seen a Wendy’s with the kiosks. What had been my favorite Wendy’s, for over 20 years, remodeled it’s dining room last month, but has not opened the dining room yet, so I don’t know if it has kiosks now.


The more kiosks the more staff the burger outlets need. Turns out people prefer the kiosks because the service is quicker. More staff is needed for the kitchen.

This is too sad a venue to tell old folks jokes. Besides I might find myself offended.

Yes, that Mickey D’s had a big sign on the wall offering $16.50/hr. Then there is Workman’s comp, and FICA, and health insurance. Yes, much better to minimize staff and trot out some machines, even if the machines pi$$ off your customers, because beancounters can easily quantify payroll saved, but can’t quantify pi$$ed off customers.

Once through the kiosk, I had it pretty well figured out. Even figured out how to order my Coke without ice. It would have been fine, if it worked, like the self-scan lines at WalMart and Meijer do. It’s reluctance to respond to my pokes was frustrating, but it’s flat refusal to close out the order was a deal breaker.


I’m in my 70’s and I would much rather interact with technology than deal with people.
Might be more of an attitude thing than an age thing…
Technology is much more dependable.


When Musk gets it done, there will be no ‘humans’ in their stores, they will be staffed by Optimist Humanoids! :imp:

Now is the preemptive time to train humans to deal with it. :+1:t4:

The Captain


What do you mean “almost”? Humans cost $15-25/hr plus assorted taxes/mandates, the machine costs $0.30/hr.

Well could be many things:

  1. Maybe they used the app to preorder and then simply picked up their stuff.
  2. They could have paid with their phone. I do that nearly everywhere now, in fact I rarely take my wallet with me anymore!
  3. Or maybe they simply selected cash and paid the old fashioned way.
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  1. They’re not old with extremely dry hands that create issues with all sorts of touch screens. Including the ones at McDonald’s.

–Peter <== who is occasionally having such troubles these days, but understands the issue and doesn’t rail at technology, blaming it for things that happen as a normal part of aging.

PS - For my own phone, I’ll sometimes lick my finger. I don’t recommend that after touching a public device such as the one in question here.

They have had to hire more people because of the kiosks. The public feels rightly or wrongly they can get their food sooner dealing with the kiosks.