Apparently I was wrong. Back in March I wrote about the growing self service trend in the QSR (fast food) industry, but according to an article in the Chicago Tribune the trend has withered on the vine.
Despite self-serv taking off elsewhere (the gas pump, airline check-in, even at the Post Office) and being tested by YUM! at KFC/Taco Bell and some McDonald's in Denver, it just doesn't seem to do the trick when it comes to food service. Apparently people associate dining, even in a fast food restaurant, with personal service.
McDonald's has stopped testing the concept and a spokesman for Boink Systems, which tested its machines with Taco Bell, said the largest opportunity they are seeing now for the machines are with jails and prisons!
There are still some that insist self service fast food is the future: the companies that make the self-service kiosks. They say (and I agreed), that many customers prefer to take direct control of their order.
Previous entries about fast food service technology here were about self-serv kiosk availability (Nov. 05), kiosk implementation at Taco Bell/KFC (Feb. 06), and the self service trend in the QSR industry (Mar. 06).