McDonald’s Gets Robot Cashiers

A McDonald's self-service kiosk in France.

A McDonald’s self-service kiosk in France.

Increasing demands for higher efficiency and wages have driven fast food chains to invest in automated cashier systems, according to published reports.

The European division of McDonald’s has purchased 7,000 touch-screen kiosks to handle the new demand, reports CNet. In addition to not messing up a customer’s order, data gathered by the machines will help marketing and other efforts, McDonald’s Europe President Steve Easterbrook said.

Panera, which markets itself as a higher-end style of on-the-go eating, has also invested US$42 million in automated technology, reports Bloomberg. The chain is looking to improve complaints of slow speed and botched orders at its restaurants.

The moves come as the Obama administration pushes for an increase in the minimum wage, which has sparked a nation-wide debate in the United States. Microsoft founder Bill Gates recently predicted that an increase in the minimum wage would lead companies that hire low-wage workers to opt for automated technology instead.

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