BOZEMAN – You might only see them in a big city, but with a booming economy like Gallatin County, fast-food kiosks have made their way to one Bozeman McDonald’s.
Jennifer Kassity, who owns eight McDonald’s franchises including six in Montana, said that with the way society uses technology, the move to a fast-order kiosk made sense.
"Technology is taking over everything, and we all have to either step up or we’re going to be backwards,” said Kassity.
The West Main Street McDonald’s, Kassity’s busiest location, now boasts two double-sided kiosks, which combine a fast way to order and pay for fast food with the simple technology that some people crave.
"They’re able to come in, place their own order, and now we can place four orders at the exact same time, rather than just one at a time,” said Marcus Olson, guest experience leader at McDonald’s. “Because of that, it does speed up the process, so it is a little bit of a faster process than it has been in the past and that’s been an extremely positive experience for our customers, and it’s definitely made us as a team gel together."
Close to 35 percent of the storefront customers at the West Main Street location are now using these kiosks, and the restaurant also uses in-app ordering and UberEats delivery service.
The addition of the kiosks has made the demand for this McDonald’s and its food higher than ever.
"We have four more order points and we’ve had to hire 20 more people since April because of that. And I mean we really are short people on any given day at this location because of the demands of this new technology,” Kassity said.
But don’t worry, the new technology won’t be taking the place of cashiers altogether.
"We’ve had a lot of customers that have come in and said ‘Oh no, you’re going to replace cashiers.’ But that is not the case, so we just have to shift some of our employees around a little bit,” Kassity said. The store keeps at least one cashier on duty at all times, and the rest of the employees shift mostly to food service.
The Belgrade McDonald’s will be the next location to see kiosks when they undergo renovations in August, and Kassity said the kiosks are part of a nationwide plan by McDonald’s to add the technology to all of its restaurants by 2019.