January 7th, 2023: Digital-Only Restaurants, Fast-Food Automation and Robots
Updated: Jan 7
It is my belief that the longest lasting effect of Covid-19 will be automation. Whether planned or by complete luck, the technology companies building for this for decades had their moment to strike...contactless living. And they took it.
The restaurant industry is the most obvious and this article McDonald's Launches a Whole New Kind of Restaurant - TheStreet captures the landscape well.
Image Source: McDonalds
Here are the cliff notes from the Street: "The fast-food industry has been steadily driving its customers to order online and through its mobile app. McDonald's already dominates the industry when it comes to app use--in 2021, it had more than 12 million more downloads than the next most commonly installed fast-food app--but investment in this type of concept shows that its leaders expect these types of orders to continue growing.
Here is the Domino's and Nuro food delivery robot.
Image Source: Yahoo!
The moral issue with this movement is the social impact automation is going to have on the global workforce because policymakers aren't nimble enough to adjust on the fly. I told the lawmakers on 10th Street in CA that higher minimum wage was going to accelerate automation. From what I've heard in my global travels, keep an eye on Toyota in the automation ecosystem.
One thing is for sure, if the 2023 recession hits like people say, CFOs will have no option but to automate the humans off their balance sheets: CFOs to combat downturn with more automation | CFO Dive
Update: In the last few hours since I posted this, this article dropped: McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski warns he will slash many of its 200,000 corporate staff