If nothing else, last month's 62,000 minimum wage, part time-job expansion program by McDonalds generated lots of commentary on whether it should or should not be counted in the April NFP number. While paying a bunch of janitors (sub) minimum wage will have precisely 0.00% impact on GDP, the possibility that America could convert even more full-time into part-time jobs, generating a few more press opportunities for the teleprompter was certainly bullish, sure generated a lot of contradictory blog posts. Alas, even paying minimum wage appears to be too much of a chore for the world's largest burger chain. Enter computers. From Fox Biz: "McDonald's is jumping on the technology bandwagon with a new system that will soon change the way European customers order food -- picture computers instead of humans asking whether customers prefer fries and supersizes. The fast-food restaurant, known for its golden arches, Big Mac burgers and Happy Meals, will replace cashiers with touch-screen terminals and swipe cards at its 7,000 chain restaurants in Europe, according to the Financial Times. That would mean, in part, the end of cash payments." Also picture no more millions of job applicants for something, anything at the Golden Arches. And like that another several million of America's lower class are about to become outsourced to robots.
In addition to the digital screens, McDonald's will stay open longer, modernize its stores and introduce new menus in an effort to attract tech-dependent, spend-wary and health-conscious consumers. McDonalds will be able to better track customer order trends and hone in on the most popular foods while cutting back on millions in staff costs.
The Oak Brook, Ill.-based company has been growing in Europe despite many of its rivals’ sluggishness, posting a 6% improvement in year-over-year sales at its more established stores in April and booking stronger growth in the region than it did in the U.S.
McDonalds has been implementing several global initiatives in an effort to keep sales high, introducing oatmeal, fruit and coffee options on U.S. menus in an effort to attract health-conscious customers and those looking for an affordable breakfast, while modernizing its facilities around the world and adding free Wi-Fi services for the modern laptop and tablet user.
In an interview with the London-based publication, McDonald’s president of Europe, Steve Easterbrook, said the new process would change a traditional system that has been in place for 30 to 40 years.
The changes, he said, would improve efficiency and smooth the ordering process for customers by making average transactions three to four seconds shorter than traditional methods.
And just like reprofiling is now a pretty word (even if it means very ugly things), so "efficiency" is and continues to be the good ole' "synergies" also known as mass layoffs.