McDonalds robots won’t replace humans as they aren’t practical, says CEO

The replacement of human workers by robotics is increasing as the next generation makes its way into workplaces. Fast food companies like Dominoes are already replacing certain food-making processes with robots, but one iconic establishment won’t: McDonald’s.

McDonald’s fights against robotics

In the fast food conglomeration’s earnings call, McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski explained that adding robots to the working ecosystem isn’t effective. While other chains are getting involved early, Kempczinski does not believe that machines can replace humans at the moment.

The CEO explained that even with the ongoing labour shortage, robotics will not be as efficient as human workers. In fact, with the sheer speed at which McDonald’s workers fulfil orders, they’re not even comparable.

Kempczinski even went as far as to state that the major fast food chains will not adopt robotics for years. Simply put, the technology is unfeasible. He said:

“The idea of robots and all those things…it's not practical in the vast majority of restaurants. You're not going to see that as a broad-based solution anytime soon."

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Only good for garnering headlines?

During the earnings call, Kempczinski explained that robotics in fast food are only useful for getting media attention. While adding robots into the business is cool from a headlines perspective, it adds little to the business.

“It’s great for garnering headlines, it’s not practical in the vast majority of restaurants,” he said. “The economics don’t pencil out, you don’t necessarily have the footprint.”

While the CEO declares that robots will not be taking over McDonald’s kitchens, he also touched in automatic processes in the future. For example, drive-thru gigs will soon become more automated than ever. However, the role of the cashiers and fry cooks will remain the same.

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