Self-servicing kiosks at fast food restaurants are the newest trend with more companies jumping on board. A word to the wise: If you want an exorbitant amount of money to flip a burger, you can easily be replaced by an inanimate object. McDonald’s was the first to implement the change; now a competitor is following suit.
Wendy’s announced that they will be adding over 1,000 kiosks throughout the United States in their stores this year. The news came during an investors meeting Friday, in which investors were informed that the kiosks would be filling around 16 percent of stores.
Kiosks were already offered in various franchise stores last year and were a successful endeavor for the company. “There is a huge amount of pull from (franchisees) in order to get them,” David Trimm, Wendy’s chief information officer, said.
With the success they’ve seen using the kiosks so far, Trimm can see this becoming a new way of doing business for the company. “With the demand, we are seeing. … we can absolutely see our way to having 1,000 or more restaurants live with kiosks by the end of the year.”
Trimm added that he sees this as a win-win for the company; they save money on labor cost and ordering is more efficient for customers.
Three kiosks put into a location is an estimated $15,000, a price that Trimm estimates the company can earn back within two years with the money saved from labor costs.
McDoanlds and Wendys are ahead of the curve when it comes to the future of fast food restaurants. “They are looking to improve labor cost, and this is a good way to do it,” Darren Tristano, the vice president of a food service and research company said. “They are enhancing the customer’s experience, younger people like to use the kiosks.”
Kiosks don’t necessarily mean that human workers will not be needed or that workers will have their hours cut. Instead, they will be able to shift labor to other areas of the restaurant.
With kiosks being used to place orders, more employees can be in the back cooking during the peak hours of business. Other companies will soon follow suit. If they don’t, they can expect to spend more overpaying employees demanding $15 an hour.