Wednesday, April 22, 2009

KFC's Self-Serve Cashiers: Will it Take Away Jobs?

I haven't stepped foot in a KFC in years, but after relocating to London I find myself visiting American fast food chains every once in a while to get over my feeling of homesickness.

Yesterday, I walked into a KFC and couldn't believe my eyes!!! No, no, no, it wasn't the fact that KFC actually charges 10p for each packet of ketchup, mayonnaise or barbecue sauce in London. BUT I was shocked to find myself face-to-face with a self-serve touch screen cashier!!! I don't know about you, but I was kind of expecting to be greeted by a low-spirited human with a 50-50 chance of screwing up my order. Call me cynical, but customer service at fast food chains isn't the BEST out here, to say the least.

At first, this new option to physically place my order myself caught me off guard and I felt a bit lost, but I think it will definitely catch on just like airports' self check-in kiosks and grocery stores/drug stores' self-service check-out aisles (e.g. Boots and Wal-Mart).

The self-serve cashier at KFC is a great idea, but how will it impact the job market?

Who knows what's next! As you can see from the photo below, technology has made the ordering process more efficient, but humans aren't keeping up with the orders fast enough. The queue on the left is where people pick up their food after placing their order. Looks like they may need to speed things up a bit back in the kitchen.

Perhaps robots will be preparing and serving the food the next time I visit KFC!

1 comment:

Mr Dinkle Says: said...

I dig it, I really dig it. I'm all for automation. Who really cares about the low wage paid workers? The next step would be to get payment through RFID cards or smart cards like Japan or Singapore. That'll take all the cash handling.