Business, Central New York, Community, Consumer, food, Jobs, Syracuse

Local McDonald’s Opens with New Self-Ordering Kiosks

Two customers using the kiosks at the newly opened McDonald’s on Erie Boulevard. (c) 2017 Gabriela Knutson

Listen here to find out what McDonald’s is doing to recapture its lost customers.

By Gabriela Knutson, SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – Here’s some news that may have you saying … “I’m lovin it.”

The two-week old McDonald’s on Erie Boulevard opened with four new touch screen menu boards. This upgrade is part of an initiative at 2,500 stores nationwide to revamp sales.

These self-ordering kiosks are designed to eliminate lines, increase efficiency, and replace regular cashier jobs. But McDonald’s insists the new technology is adding jobs, not erasing them.

“We were working at 45 before and now we’re trying to get closer to 70 people as far as the total amount of associates that we have. And it’s more so because of these kiosks. The kiosks allow us to interact with every customer,” the Assistant Store Manager Myquan Perry said.

The new “tableside service” job objective is to greet customers, help with the kiosks, and clean tables.

Customer feedback has been mixed. “We’re getting more and more amounts of customers on these kiosks every day. We have some that don’t want to touch it at all, but for the most part the people see something new, they want to try it,” Perry said.

Senior citizens at the McDonald’s, who wished to not be recorded or named, said they found the new technology confusing and the additional workers overbearing.

“Can I help you, need more help with that, that type of thing. They repeated that offer to help many times,” one customer said. “For me, I’d want nobody to talk to me. Come in, use the machine, and get out.”

Younger customers generally have much more positive responses, and like to learn and interact with the new technology.

“This is my first time and I really like [the kiosks], cause it goes faster and it’s better service,” 11-year-old Jayda Dibble said. “Someone helped us, cause we’re not really used to it yet, but we’re gonna probably get used to it.”

In the near future McDonald’s is also looking to recapture some of its lost traffic through mobile ordering, and is exploring the possibility of delivery service as well.