The headlines are saying there is a new McDonald’s that is run by robots, not one human in the building. That’s the kind of automation many people fear, but it’s not entirely true, as you are soon to find out.
Imagine ordering your food from McDonald’s and driving up to a window where it’s delivered to you on a conveyor belt. What would that whole scenario look like? An order causes a fury of automation, from fries being dropped into an unmanned fryer to burger patties being flopped onto the grill and cooked to the perfect level of doneness. Can you imagine a day when the ice cream machine always works?
It seems as if there are several facilities that have opened up and are reporting that they are completely human-free. It’s an eery place where you are met at the door by a kiosk. You order your food and then walk up to a counter with no clerks behind it. There is no seating because they don’t want you to stay. Fast food has taken on a whole new meaning in this place. It really is designed to get you in and out as fast as possible.
Not only that, but there are different ways of ordering, and one is designed with absolute order accuracy in mind. The first way is going in, and that’s the scene you’ll see if you choose that route. The second, of course, is the drive-thru, and that hasn’t changed. But the third is ordering from the app on your way to the store. This is McDonald’s automation at its optimum potential.
Food preparation is put on hold until you reach a certain spot while driving to the facility. That’s when the burger and the fry motion begins. It knows exactly how long it takes to make your food, and by knowing where you are, which it does because you’re using its app, it can track your location and make sure that the food is finished just before the handoff, wasting absolutely no time at all.
Here’s the catch. In this very entertaining video, you’ll find out that there are people working in these McDonald’s facilities. The actual premise is to keep the customers and the workers separate from each other so the workers are out of sight. And that’s not entirely true either because you’ll see a few of them in the video as these two people eat McDonald’s food for several days to test the place thoroughly.
This isn’t the first issue with McDonald’s. It’s just another in a series of things that have drastically changed McDonald’s from the family place it was to the non-people-friendly place it’s trying to become.
The fact is that there are robots involved now, and this isn’t the first time a robot has been programmed to do certain tasks. It has been going on for years. There are robots doing precision movements in science so that human hands won’t flaw the process.
There are robots all over industrial tasks, from building cars to putting together computers. They can be taught just about anything, and there is nothing to stop the big companies from replacing humans with robots because they don’t take breaks, they don’t unionize, and they never ask for wage increases.
However, don’t let that lead you into despair. If you work at McDonald’s or you fold shirts at a clothing company, get ahead of the trend. Think it through.
Robots haven’t taken over yet, but you see the writing on the wall. So, position yourself for the opportunities that lie ahead. There will always be a need for someone to program the robot and maintain it. There will always be a need for supplies to be delivered to facilities where robots will be doing their jobs. There will be more opportunities available as machines are moved in than are now. Innovation breeds innovation, and all you have to do is be ready to seize the opportunity.
Learn what it takes to run the machines, and you might be able to keep yourself gainfully employed. To be honest, McDonald’s isn’t the kind of place to start a career anyway. It should be a place to work while going to college, learning a skill, or looking for something better. It’s the kind of job that was never meant for you to stay all your life.
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