McDonald’s has introduced an automated location outside of Fort Worth, Texas, where diners can receive their food via a conveyor belt.
This location is smaller than a typical McDonald’s, and geared toward customers who would rather pick up their meals than dine in. The restaurant uses “enhanced technology that allows the restaurant team to begin preparing customers’ orders when they’re near the restaurant,” according to the company
Customers can pick up their meals in a drive-through “order ahead lane,” or order at the touchscreen kiosk inside the store.
McDonald’s posted footage of the location in a TikTok video that currently has more than 1.3 million views.
Consumers are split in their reactions to the automated restaurant. “If they forget an item, who you supposed to tell, the robot?” wrote one TikTokker. “It defeats the purpose of using the drive thru if you have to go inside for it.”
But others expressed admiration. “Finally, my order will be quick and accurate,” one user said.
“Awesome. No more attitude at the counter,” said another.
A McDonald’s rep told the New York Post that the restaurant is in the “test and learn” phase and the trial is part of its “Accelerating the Arches” plan across five areas: “purpose, mission, values, growth pillars and our foundation of running great restaurants.”
On Reddit, fans were split as well. “About time. McDonald's food is so calculated I'm surprised it's taken this long for automation. Rise robots rise!!” one fan wrote.
Another, meanwhile, wrote that, “As a former employee they want robots. Everything about that job oozes distrust and disdain for its workers. Even the mangers are heavily monitored and limited. Every second is so heavily regimented and it’s saturated with this underlying paranoia towards everyone hidden under a thin layer of customer service.”