McDonald’s opened its first automated restaurant, with machines handling everything from taking orders to delivering the food – and dividing opinions everywhere.
“When you step inside the test restaurant concept, you’ll notice it’s considerably smaller than a traditional McDonald’s restaurant in the U.S.,” McDonald’s said in a statement. “Why? The features—inside and outside—are geared toward customers who are planning to dine at home or on the go.”
The Fort Worth, Texas, location uses technology to minimize human interaction when ordering and picking up food. The restaurant features an “Order Ahead Lane” where customers can receive orders by conveyor belt, Newsweek reported.
The initiative is part of McDonald’s “Accelerating the Arches” plan, which works to grow and innovate the customer experience, but not everyone is pleased with the direction the restaurant chain has chosen.
TikTok user @foodiemunster shared a video of their experience, which showed the user going into a small but empty McDonald’s with one kiosk to order food and a conveyor belt that delivers it when ready. “Inside the restaurant, there’s a delivery pick-up room for couriers to retrieve orders quickly and conveniently,” McDonald’s explained in its statement. “There are also kiosks, where customers can place their orders to go, and a pick-up shelf for orders.”
Meanwhile, Self-driving semi-truck outfit TuSimple Holdings said Wednesday that it would cut 350 jobs, mostly in the U.S., as the San Diego company restructures to conserve capital amid a series of recent corporate shake-ups.
According to the San Diego Tribune, The layoffs amount to 25 percent of TuSimple’s global workforce. The company has operations in San Diego, Arizona, Texas, Europe, and China. Following the restructuring, TuSimple will have 1,100 employees — 880 of which are full-time research and development personnel.
In San Diego, 143 workers will lose their jobs at TuSimple’s headquarters, according to Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) paperwork that TuSimple filed with the state of California or local employment officials.
TuSimple leases about 80,000 square feet of space in San Diego to house corporate administration and research and development, according to filings with securities regulators. It is unknown if the space is fully occupied. The job cuts were expected. The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that TuSimple was eyeing the termination of at least 700 workers.
The Journal also said TuSimple would largely cease its operations in Arizona, where the company has been testing Level 4 self-driving big rigs on public roads between freight warehouses in Tucson and Phoenix. These trucks operate with hands-free autonomy but have a driver in the cab who can grab the wheel just in case.
TuSimple was embroiled in corporate drama in recent months. In October, its board of directors fired Chief Executive and co-founder Xiaodi Hou after an internal probe found that the company shared confidential information with a Chinese hydrogen truck startup without proper disclosures.
In a post on LinkedIn, Hou denied any wrongdoing and strongly disagreed with the board’s decision to remove him. At the time, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission were looking into the matter.