Why McDonald's New Tech Can Mean Longer Drive-Thru Times

Many fast-food outlets have embraced technological advances in an attempt to sway the consumer over to their side. For example, Domino's just toppled longtime pizza leader Pizza Hut thanks to innovations like the pizza tracker app.

Not to be left behind, McDonald's has added mobile app orders and self-service kiosks. While these things may make things easier for the customer, the new tech can be difficult for employees, Bloomberg reports today. "They added a lot of complicated things," reported one employee. "It makes it harder for the workers." Another added, "It's more stressful now. When we mess up a little bit because we're getting used to something new, we get yelled at."

Bloomberg reports that with the current low rate of unemployment, fed-up workers find it easier to walk away from the job than to endure more training for "new technologies and menu options. The result: customers will wait longer." Training new employees takes time, and inexperienced employees aren't as quick as more experienced ones.

As a result, McDonald's is actually seeing its drive-thru times increasing, despite all the technology. "Drive-through times at McDonald's slowed to 239 seconds last year—more than 30 seconds slower than in 2016, according to QSR magazine. It's also pokier than Burger King, Wendy's and Taco Bell." It's an interesting look at the cause and effect of various factors in the fast-food industry; read more at BloombergTechnology today.