adding self-service ordering kiosks "to at least 1,000 restaurants, or about 15% of its stores," reports the Los Angeles Times, while McDonald's and Panera Bread are now planning to add kiosks to every restaurant. "Lots of restaurants, not just fast-food chains, are really trying to mitigate the costs of higher wages," says one market research firm, while also citing a survey which found 40% of millennials willing to use kiosks (compared to 30% of restaurant-goers overall).
But in some cases this means more work for human employees.
McDonalds doesn't plan to reduce its workforce
after installing kiosks, and Panera Bread "has said that at some
locations where it has ordering kiosks, it has actually increased human
hours to help the kitchen keep up with the higher number of orders that
come in through the more efficient ordering system."
Coupled with AI algorithms for learning what residents like to
consume, and algorithms for automatically restocking those items via a
network of suppliers or logistics companies, this "bot-mart" could make grocery shopping a boring and time-consuming thing of the past...
Will robots similarly reduce the need for a kitchen next?
Yes, the article also describes cooking robots (which can already prepare burgers, pizza, and sandwiches), as well as new automated delivery vehicles restaurants.
"Perhaps the only question remaining is whether there is a business
case for this," they point out -- though under some scenarios, it could
actually prove cheaper than driving to the grocery store yourself.
Consumers will find it ever easier to get what they want, when they
want it, where they want it."