While waiting for an order to be fulfilled, I count the number of staff working at fast food restaurants, espresso cafes, and so on.
In the past, there were usually 6 to 9 workers at typical fast food restaurants.
Currently, there is a staff shortage – yet no coherent and consistent explanation as to why.
During this, I’ve see as few as 3 workers in a fast food restaurant – which means long wait times for customers.
How will this get solved? With a lot more tech.
Wendy’s Just Struck a Deal That Will Drastically Change the Way It Operates
Fast-food chains are gearing up their tech capabilities and soon, the landscape of the industry will be changed forever.
You’ve likely already seen self-order kiosks at McDonalds. There are also tablet ordering systems at some restaurants, and mobile apps for self orders are ubiquitous now. These reduce the staff needed for taking orders.
A few restaurants are using automatic burger frying systems, reducing kitchen staff. Some restaurants have automated as many processes as they can and customers may have no human interaction with staff at all!
These changes were going to occur pre-pandemic – eventually. But a combination of issues – labor demands, then labor shortages, and rapidly falling prices for tech – mean automation and customer self service is here to stay.
A lot fewer workers will be needed in future fast food outlets.