What it is: Automated kiosks are replacing cashiers in restaurants.
Go to any fast food restaurant and chances are good you’ll have to talk to another person who takes your order. From a business point of view, order takers are necessary but slow and not always accurate. Even worse, cashiers who take orders are a major cause of employee theft. That’s why more restaurants are relying on touch screen kiosks to take orders instead.
Food trucks are even using automated kiosks to take orders because it’s fast, accurate, and more appealing for customers to use because they can leisurely view their options without feeling like they’re making up someone else’s time. When people pay through a kiosk, no money changes hands so no employee theft is possible. What makes automated kiosks possible is the touch screen.
Touch screens eliminate physical buttons and allow greater versatility. The greatest innovation of the iPhone was introducing the touch screen interface that eliminated the need for convoluted fold out keyboards or rows of buttons like Blackberry phones used to display. The touch screen has defined the best user interface for simple input.
Expect more restaurants to offer automated kiosks in the future because it’s more cost effective, accurate, faster, and more appealing for customers while reducing employee theft at the same time. When you look at what jobs machines are taking over, it’s always repetitive jobs that require little thinking whether it’s physical activities like taking orders at a fast food restaurant to creating boilerplate legal documents. Any time a job involves repetition, expect a computer to take it over. If your job involves repetition, beware. You’re a prime candidate to be replaced by a machine.
The best way people can make themselves indispensable is to be versatile. The worst way people can cling to a job is to hope for the best and develop no further skills beyond doing repetitive work. If a touch screen can replace you, then you’re probably in a job that’s not very interesting in the first place.