The Motley Fool Previous Page

Push-Button Burgers at McDonald's?

Alyce Lomax
June 17, 2004

Will you soon get a burger at the touch of a button? McDonald's (NYSE: MCD  ) is testing kiosks through which hungry, hurried customers can place their orders. It may be high time the fast-food chain found another way to bump up efficiency.

Prior to the company's impressive turnaround, service figured in customer dissatisfaction. Theoretically, a push-button system that delivers orders straight to the kitchen could cut time and alleviate confusion, as well as pare down frantic lunchtime lines. Also, imagine how the technology could help speed up the drive-thru lane. (It should be noted that these kiosks are meant to run simultaneous with traditional ordering, not replace it.)

Such automation is becoming more prevalent. How many of us hardly ever even see a bank teller anymore? Many grocery stores have the self-scan option. My local AMC Entertainment (AMEX: AEN