Self-Serve is the Future?


Self-Serve Kiosks Embraced by McDonald’s and Panera Bread

McDonald’s is rolling out ‘Create Your Taste’ self-serve kiosks, enabling customers to build custom burgers as well as full menu ordering.

Panera Bread is also getting in on the action, combining the kiosks with Panera’s “My Panera” rewards membership.

Customers “love the fact” that they can save modifications as favorites or order from their history, says Blaine Hurst, Panera Chief Transformation & Growth Officer.

Cutting Costs

It’s clear that all the big names are keeping a close eye on developments.

Improving order accuracy and creating shorter lines keeps customers happy, and lower operating costs for the restaurant make it a win-win for customers and merchants.

Wendy’s President and CFO, Todd Penegor remarked: “We’ve been able to create some efficiencies on labor across the restaurant … like customer self-order kiosks, mobile order, and mobile pay.”

With minimum wages increasing and cheaper automation, the shift is obvious according to Andy Puzder, the CEO of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s. “It’s not rocket science”, he said.

Panera’s Solution

Job losses due to automation has been a concern for decades, but it won’t affect Panera Bread. “The consumer-facing technology results in labor savings for Panera; these hours are redeployed in the cafe. In fact, in most cases, Panera increases the number of associate hours in our cafes; and they see increases in overall guest satisfaction,” Blaine Hurst explained.

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