McDonald's open first-ever automated restaurant

McDonald's open first-ever automated restaurant

Long queues at the food pick-up point could soon become a thing of the past at McDonald's...

The fast-food chain has opened its first automated restaurant in Fort Worth, Texas in a move designed to test various ideas for digital-native customers.

The drive-thru focused outlet features what McDonald's has dubbed an 'Order Ahead Lane' which serves online orders through a conveyer belt system.

Inside there are several touch screens we're all used to but unlike other Mcdonald's restaurants, your food will be delivered via an automated conveyor.


Collecting from the automated hatch at Fort Worth McDonald's

All the usual burgers, nuggets and fries are still made the conventional way by humans, but the interaction time staff will have with customers is vastly reduced.

Speaking on the announcement, McDonald's said the first thing customers will notice is that this outlet is "considerably smaller than a traditional McDonald’s restaurant."


This, they say, is because "the features – inside and outside – are geared toward customers who are planning to dine at home or on the go."

On the 'Order Ahead Lane', McDonald's says the innovation "uses technology that allows the restaurant team to begin preparing customers’ orders when they’re near the restaurant. The enhanced technology at this location helps the hardworking restaurant team, too. The restaurant’s app updates, food and beverage conveyor, and new kitchen format all streamline operations – leading to a fast, seamless experience for both customers and crew."

The move has so far left the internet divided with some hailing it as the "end of incorrect orders". Others, however, have provided a more ominous premonition dubbing it "the beginning of the end" for fully-staffed Maccy-Ds.

For now, this McDonald's is a one-off experiment with no word on the concept coming to Ireland any time soon.