If You Build It They Won’t Come

Nobody asked but …

Road trip!  Clan Forelle is Chicago bound.

This morning we ate breakfast at a McDonald’s restaurant in Lafayette, Indiana.  You had to put your order in at an automated kiosk.  But to take care of the people who were confused by these kiosks there was one cashier on duty to take manual orders.  There were no people ordering at the kiosks. There were lines of people ordering from the cashier.

People are sometimes not easily duped.  Customers are resisting overtures to making illicit use of their time.  Usually, when one goes to a fast food business, they know what they want.  They do not want to spend time talking to automatons.  The fast fooditeers would like to cut out employees to the max, letting the customers take time consuming forays through opaque menus.

I hope bad automation will fail, that customers will do as they did with ATMs — choosing only services within a narrow band.  Choice will die, and markets will find customers where products have not been dumbed down.

I watched a McDonald’s employee trying to use one of their kiosks.  She failed and had to start over 3 times.

— Kilgore Forelle



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