JEFF CAPLAN

Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: Burger vending machines

Mar 30, 2022, 5:07 PM
vending machines drive-thru...
A customer views a digital menu at the drive-thru outside a McDonald's Corp. restaurant in Peru, Illinois, U.S., on Wednesday, March 27, 2019. Photo credit: Daniel Acker, Bloomberg via Getty Images.

Editor’s note: This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

SALT LAKE CITY — It’s a paradox. You go to the drive-through. You hear the soulless voice on the little speaker go “blah blah blah.”

You idle forward and snatch the food from an outstretched arm and perhaps they’ll mutter “thank you.”

You didn’t catch their name. You didn’t talk about the weather. There was just: credit card, then food.

At one of my local fast food joints, they shut the dining room for Covid and never reopened it. They’re drive-through only because they can’t find the help

So with a dwindling labor pool, may I suggest they replace all the fast-food joints with Mcdonald’s vending machines.

Franchise owners, I know you’re lovin’ it.

A giant McDonald’s machine would cost $50 to $100 grand, but no more labor hassles.

I mention this because the first cooked-to-order hamburger vending machine debuted at a mall on the east coast this week.

It takes six minutes to cook the meat patty, you get your favorite toppings, and it never gets the order wrong.

A Robo-Burger will run you $6.99. Less than you’d pay at Five Guys.

In Asia, you can already buy anything imaginable from a vending machine.

For goodness sakes, in China there’s a machine that sells live crabs. Still squiggling.

Swipe your card, Mr. Crabs drops down, still alive, along with a packet of vinegar. That’s some good eating.

I don’t think we’re ready for that experience.

If Americans order a living sea creature we still want a human kid from the neighborhood to say “you want fries with that?”

Other Minutes of News:

Listen to Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News every weekday from 3 to 7 p.m. for more of his “My Minute of News.” And check out the podcast below.

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Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: Burger vending machines