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Fast Food Cashiers may be extinct in the next 3-5 years

Discussion in 'Economy' started by MemphisMark, Jan 23, 2018.

  1. MemphisMark

    MemphisMark Old school Conservative

    So there I was reading the latest Beige Book, and I found this once sentence that sent me searching:

    I remember when credit cards were first accepted at QSR's (Quick Service Restaurants), the average sale jumped about 8-10%.

    According to this article (it's an industry trade mag), per-ticket sales are up 30% because SSK's (Self-Service Kiosks) will offer meal upgrades more consistently than human cashiers.

    So let's look at the advantages of SSK's over people:
    • Turnover of 5-7 years per unit rather than 3-4 months per person
    • Lower payroll costs
    • Lower training costs (not constantly training new cashiers)
    • Not having to worry about kiosks showing up on time, ready to go
    • Not having to worry about kiosks pissing customers off
    • Higher customer satisfaction (30% reduction in order errors)
    • Once installed, the only expenses are electricity and maintenance contract
    • High volume bottlenecks are moved into the kitchen rather than at the counter. This can be mitigated by moving ex-cashiers into kitchen/mechanization of the kitchen)

    The disadvantages?
    • Large up-front cost to install (mitigated by amortization)
    • 3-5 day store disruption during upgrade (minimized by doing at night)
    • Disruption by repair techs working on down units
    • Reduction of entry-level jobs, that critical first step on the job ladder
     
  2. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    I have only encountered a kiosk once. I am almost 70 but have worked on or around computers for 30 some years. With me were my wife and daughter and granddaughter. The kiosk we encountered was at a McDonalds. We found the experience cumbersome and not at all intuitive and ended our order and went to the counter to place an order. I have no doubt good kiosks can be designed but my only experience was not acceptable.

    But fast food restaurants biggest problem is not the ordering of the food. It is the placement of the right order in the right bag and giving it to the correct customer.
     
  3. Arc

    Arc Full Member

    Kiosks were first encountered by me at budget grocery store chain. They were your only choice although all had someone standing by to help. One experience was enough for me. I never went back to that chain, (their food selection and quality were fine and lower priced.) I next encountered self-serve kiosks at new supermarkets and other venues. I avoid them like they are radioactive. Eventually, the better markets that tried them as an option for shoppers did away with them.
     
    Allene likes this.
  4. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Amazonian woman in a petite package!

    I've recently posted on this exact subject regarding Amazon Pay and Whole Foods Market, and coming soon as the Amazon Store to your own neighborhood (presuming you live near a Sears store).

    That is exactly the way I see it. Go shopping at WFM or the Amazon Store and just toss your take into your cart and your charge will appear as Amazon Pay on your credit card.

    Instant gratification, that's what all Amazon is about. Order online and get it in 2 days. Drive to WFM or Amazon Store and bypass the checkout line and go home!

    Suzy wonders what AMZN would do if it decided to transform the call girl industry. If they did (they won't of course) you'd click on the image of your chosen lover and he/she would be at your door in 20 minutes! (LOLOL!)
     
  5. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    Fred Meyer in Washington State has those kiosks. Every time I've been there with my husband, something goes wrong, and the attendant has to fix it. I just go through the normal checkout. Sometimes it's faster than the kiosk.
     
  6. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Amazonian woman in a petite package!

    I've only read about them online. I've never seen one.
     
  7. MemphisMark

    MemphisMark Old school Conservative

    When I was installing the Point-Of-Sale systems for McDonald's in the 90's, the display was DOS (┌─┐ for buttons) and the touchscreen was double-sided tape stuck onto a tube CRT monitor.

    Today every now and then I peek over to their side of the display and it now has pictures of the products.

    Shiny, you're right. the interface is 98% of the experience. The other 2% is the attractiveness of the kiosk to get you over there. If someone who has never seen this kind of technology can't be using it on their own without external help in < 30 seconds, it's a bad interface. There needs to be a teaching mode and a big red flashing part of the screen that says "TOUCH HERE IF YOU HAVE NEVER USED ME BEFORE" that rotates through several languages. This would lead to a Ms. Dewey type of strung together videos as guidance so the POS helps you through your first order.
     
  8. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Amazonian woman in a petite package!

    Mark is certainly right. If it takes any customer more than 30 seconds to figure out what to do the human interface design is bad.

    I've seen movies or video of chimps learning to push buttons for different items. They should test the interface on chimps and keep designing until a chimp can operate it.

    That should cover about 90 percent of all voters. ;)
     
  9. dsl987

    dsl987 Member

    So slightly off topic, but related, does anyone think driverless cars are going to end taxis and Uber?
     
  10. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    I am not an engineer. But I expect we will not have many driverless cars until cars start communicating with each other. You can vastly increase safety but you can also vastly increase traffic density when cars start communicating with each other. Either that or have cars controlled by a central source. Again, as a non engineer it would seem that cars talking to each other would easier than building the infrastructure to have all cars centrally controlled.

    With regards to your question DSL, we may have driverless cars replacing taxis but it will be limited until all cars can go driverless. I suspect we will begin with city centers being restricted to driverless cars and then expanding. I don't expect to see it in my lifetime but then I am almost 70.
     
  11. Arc

    Arc Full Member

    One thing for sure about driverless cars is that I'll never choose to ride in one. Period. (And I currently use both Uber and Lyft.)
     
  12. MemphisMark

    MemphisMark Old school Conservative

    Driverless cars are a bad idea, because I don’t want it or a central control system deciding if I’m going to live to die.

    Your self-driving car senses a school bus coming at you. If your car doesn’t drive itself (and you) off the road and into a tree (or over a cliff), that same fate will happen to the bus.

    I would probably decide to run off the road, however I will have better reflexes and judgement than my car and I would probably have a greater chance of survival than if I let AI do the driving.
     
    Allene likes this.
  13. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    I agree with you, Mark. This is way too robotic for me, but I doubt I'll be around if it progresses that far. Think of what would happen if someone hacked the central control system during rush hour.
     
  14. MemphisMark

    MemphisMark Old school Conservative

    It's already been done, a couple years ago. A White-Hat hacker took control of a Jeep thru the cellular signal by exploiting a bug in the radio. the hacker could control the radio, wipers and brakes from what I remember. Unless Chrysler updated their Uconnect firmware, every Chrysler vehicle with it is vulnerable.
     
    Allene likes this.
  15. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Amazonian woman in a petite package!

    Gang, please read your history. They had much the same debate about autos replacing horse powered carriages. You have to visit Amish land to see horses used in everyday life in the modern era.

    Shiny you don't have to be an engineer although I work with them at a tech company. Yes, autos will need to be networked to talk to each other in order to behave well in traffic. Oddly, I think traffic will be improved as fewer humans operate vehicles because it's the crazy stuff people do (weaving lanes, tailgating) that causes the disruptions in traffic. I'll take it a step further that it may become illegal to operate vehicles manually on freeways and other limited access roads such as turnpikes, tollways, etc.

    It seems obvious to me that corporations would be the first to adopt the new technology. Uber will be human powered only as long as it's cheaper to have meat behind the wheel instead of chips. When meat becomes more expensive than chips that's when the machines will take over.

    Allene, "way too robotic" is subjective. You are living in the past if your household isn't riddled by robots. Most electronic devices have embedded computers in them, including your clock and your coffee maker. It's certain that any remote you own has an embedded chip, a small computer that turns your button pushes into IR flashes.

    I'm just verifying Mark's comment about hacking. I remember the occasion.
     
  16. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    I didn't know about that, but I'm not surprised either.
     
  17. Arc

    Arc Full Member

    Many modern motor vehicles, (including passenger vehicles) are so "electronic" that it is technically possible with the right equipment and information to take some type of control of them remotely.

    Two-minute news story video with info and demonstration:

     
    Allene likes this.
  18. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    Thanks for the video, Arc. I've heard of some of this before. Scary stuff!
     
  19. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Amazonian woman in a petite package!

    I'll stick to human operated cars for the time being.
     
  20. dsl987

    dsl987 Member

    I think driverless cars MIGHT get here in 10 years, but I'm not trusting anything like that for a long damn time!
     
    Allene likes this.

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