The concept of man vs. machines has been going on for years but only recently has it been catapulted to the forefront of mainstream media when President Obama took a swipe at kiosks and ATMs for world-wide unemployment numbers.
But yet this follows reports by McDonalds that despite deploying hundreds of kiosks across its branches throughout Europe it has no plans to cut employees.
The U.S President sat down in a Today show interview with Ann Curry a couple of weeks ago and slated the touch screen technology by saying how it had contributed to the nation’s unemployment figures.
But yet the restaurant chain has announced that reports predicting its wide deployment of self-service kiosks would replace human jobs- are false.
A spokesperson for McDonald’s Europe said: “Self-order kiosks are not designed to replace front-counter service.
“Front counters remain a focal point of service where we have installed self-order kiosks, and customers can decide whether they wish to place their order at the counter or through kiosks. Staff are on hand in the dining area to assist customers using the kiosks.”
The fast food giant has installed more than 840 kiosks throughout Europe including France and the UK.
The spokesperson continued that deploying the kiosks wasn’t about cutting costs but rather to provide better customer service. McDonald’s explain that the kiosks are no intended to reduce staff numbers and in fact they expect overall staff figures at the restaurants to increase as the business grows.
They added that the restaurant relies on workers to man the machines and help customers unfamiliar with the kiosks on how to operate them as well as prepare food, assemble the order and deliver it to waiting customers.
The spokesman added: that the kiosks “give customers the opportunity to take the time that they need to consider and place their order…based on feedback from some customers that (said) they would appreciate more time during the ordering process.”
American President Barack Obama has been recorded slating kiosks and ATMs saying how they have contributed to the nation’s unemployment figures.
The U.S President sat down in a Today show interview with Ann Curry and took a swipe at touch screen technology, saying one of the reasons he though employment numbers have been slow to rebound was because of self-service automation, specifically kiosks and ATMs.
Obama said: “There are some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to become much more efficient with a lot fewer workers. You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM, you don’t go to a bank teller, or you go to the airport and you’re using a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate. All these things have created changes in the economy, and what we have to do … is identifying where the jobs for the future are going to be.”
MAN OR MACHINE?
It is arguable that touch screen technology has replaced human labour but it is only because it provides an extensive amount of benefits to both the business and the employee. Sophisticated ATMs are proven to dramatically reduce cash handling costs at bank branches, freeing up valuable staff time for more critical tasks. And kiosks have been proven to win the nation’s trust and likeability more so than man, which reflects the growing trend in technology and modern needs.
Consumers prefer to interact with a touch screen unit rather than a human being and everyone knows that customer service in the form of human interaction is dying out but employees will always still be needed to man the machines should a customer need help in using it, or there be a technical fault.
GOOD OR BAD?
Some, for example the President Barack Obama, say kiosks are a bad thing others argue it is a simple progression in customer assistance. In such a tech-savvy world people are more willing than ever to use the technology and would rather do so than talk to a human. Is this a dilution of social development? Maybe so but the point is touch screen units reap tons of advantages as opposed to employing several members of staff.
The technology speeds up processes in all industry sectors and the future of it is exciting and widely speculated…who really knows what it will hold! Check out a touch screen kiosk today!