automated McDonald's drive thru with bags ready to be taken (l) McDonald's sign outside 'Takeaway Drive Thru' (c) McDonald's interior with self pay (r)


‘Finally, my order will be quick and accurate’: McDonald’s opens first fully-automated location, sparks debate

'No more attitude at the counter.'


Brooke Sjoberg


Posted on Dec 20, 2022   Updated on Dec 11, 2023, 4:50 pm CST

McDonald’s has unveiled its first fully automated restaurant that has machines taking and delivering orders. But not everyone is McLovin’ it after a video was shared to TikTok by a food blog.

Posted by user @foodiemunster, the video shows a new McDonald’s location in Fort Worth, Texas that uses automated food ordering and a cashless payment system. There is also an “Order Ahead Lane” where customers can pick up their orders by a conveyor belt.

These technological changes are part of McDonald’s “Accelerating the Arches” plan to evolve customer experiences. According to The Street, the location is about half the size of a regular McDonald’s location and has no area for indoor dining.

@foodiemunster @McDonald’s ♬ Jingle Bell Rock – Bobby Helms

In a statement, McDonald’s provided more information on their fully automated system. “Inside the restaurant, there’s a delivery pick-up room for couriers to retrieve orders quickly and conveniently,” McDonald’s explained.

“There are also kiosks, where customers can place their orders to go, and a pick-up shelf for orders.”

Who cooks the food at the fully automated McDonald’s?

Mcdonald’s has stressed that the fully automated restaurant doesn’t eliminate human workers. They are always present on site as the ones in the kitchen cooking the orders.

“The technology in this restaurant not only allows us to serve our customers in new, innovative ways, it gives our restaurant team the ability to concentrate more on order speed and accuracy, which makes the experience more enjoyable for everyone,” explained Keith Vanecek, the franchisee operating the test restaurant.

Fully automated McDonald’s generates mixed reviews

Some viewers love the idea, with many complaining about the attitude of employees when they do go to order at the counter.

“Finally, my order will be quick and accurate,” one commenter wrote.

“Awesome,” another commenter wrote. “No more attitude at the counter.”

“Well the people that work there act like they don’t wanna be there,” a commenter wrote. “This solves that problem!”

Others wrote that they would much rather keep their McDonald’s locations the same, noting that they enjoy seeing people behind the counter and talking with them to place their orders.

“No thanks,” one commenter wrote. “I love the people that work there. I want to hear voices and see faces. I want to see smiles at both windows!”

“Nobody realizing what this will do to the job market once every company implements this?” another commenter wrote.

“McDonald’s is such a great first job for teens tho,” a commenter wrote. “I know y’all lying if you think they short-staffed.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to McDonald’s via email and to @foodiemunster via Instagram direct message for comment regarding the video.

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*First Published: Dec 20, 2022, 9:30 am CST