Fast Food News is claiming that the time will soon come when you will no longer need to rely upon a teenage Deadhead taking a break from popping his pimples to cook up your burgers: the fast food industry is moving towards self-service.
Fast food restaurants, of course, have been experimenting with self-service for years. KFC, Taco Bell, Subway and Arby’s have all tried to roll-out self-service in their stores. That the industry itself might be headed in that direction is evidenced by this quote from a a National Restaurant Association representative:
Self-service will lets consumers feel more in control because they’re getting exactly what they ordered. Businesses can deploy the staff elsewhere and refocus on speeding up order delivery.
Fast Food News is excited about this, but we’re not quite sure we get it. The only reason we go out for Fast Food is because we don’t have to prepare the food itself. We can make up a cheeseburger at home that’ll taste better than anything some greasy line cook can microwave up: what we’re paying for is not the food or the taste but for some anonymous minimum-wage peon to slavishly toil for us. Fast food without someone else preparing it just makes it food… and practically inedible food at that.
And, of course, there’s the fact that self-preparation at a McDonald’s isn’t going to involve you sizzling a paddy against a red-hot grill anyway. All it would take is for one kid to trip on a milkshake and land face first against it. No, what they mean is that you will be able to use tongs to withdraw a soggy patty from a heat tray under a lamp and then lay your own rubbery bacon and fluorescent orange cheese on top. A good way to make fast food sound even less appealing, but not a good way to drum up business.
Self-serve the new quick-serve? [Fast Food News]