McDonald’s Self-Order Kiosks Need A Cash Upgrade

McDonald’s, which has pioneered the use of self-order kiosks, has discovered that a large chunk of its customers can’t use the kiosks — which are now in about 9,000 domestic locations — because they pay in cash, according to a Bloomberg report.

A recent test reveals kiosks may need to be replaced or retrofitted to accommodate cash transactions, according to Bloomberg. About 6.5% — or 8.4 million — U.S. households have no bank account or credit or debit card, preventing them from paying at the kiosks.

The company confirmed to Bloomberg in an email that it is testing kiosks that take cash in a “small handful of U.S. restaurants.”

Cash users can place orders on the machines, but still need to pay at the cash register, and cannot skip the line like card payers.

The kiosks became a focus of recently departed Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook after being introduced in 2015. Easterbrook said in July that 40% of in-store customers used one in major European markets and Australia.

Restaurant owners have paid as much as $750,000 for the kiosks and other store improvements, the report noted.

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