• chemical_cutthroat@lemmy.world
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    10 months ago

    I work in a restaurant and ever since COVID the health inspector has been SUPER cautious about our soda machine. We run a clean ship but it’s always the first thing they look at, and they go over it with a fine tooth comb.

    • Flying Squid@lemmy.world
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      10 months ago

      I don’t think this is about cleanliness, I think this is about McDonalds limiting free refills.

      • TheDubz87@lemmy.world
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        10 months ago

        This is 100% about pinching pennies. Gotta find new ways to post those “record breaking profits” every year.

        • XTL@sopuli.xyz
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          10 months ago

          Pinching pennies tends to be a really bad way to improve profits, though. Especially if you’re lowering customer satisfaction or attraction in the process.

          Not that companies and managers won’t still try doing just that.

          • Zoboomafoo@lemmy.world
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            10 months ago

            Customer satisfction and attraction aren’t numbers on a spreadsheet, so I guess the effects of shitty policies like this don’t exist

        • sylver_dragon@lemmy.world
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          10 months ago

          McDonalds isn’t really a fast food company. McDonalds makes most of it’s money via real estate investment. The suckers who open franchise locations are the only ones who care about pinching pennies on food and drink.

        • Dumbkid@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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          10 months ago

          Well if they don’t make record breaking profits they won’t be useful to investors on the stock market and thats the real game

    • FlexibleToast@lemmy.world
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      10 months ago

      Even before covid the soda fountain was the thing they could get. I remember that being a big target back when I worked fast food 20 years ago.

    • Grammaton Cleric@lemmy.world
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      10 months ago

      That’s crazy, you literally push the cup against the trigger. Flesh doesn’t even need to touch it!

      The lid/straw area, however…

  • ares35@kbin.social
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    10 months ago

    the main reason i even go to chains like mcdonalds in the first place is the soda fountain. it’s (usually) much better than retail product in bottles or cans.

    if i have to wait 10 minutes to maybe (they will have zero incentive to wait on you) get a refill, after already waiting 10-30 minutes for my food in the first place (wait times have gotten really bad the last few years… for “reasons”). i won’t even go there anymore at all unless i’m traveling (which i don’t really do much of either). the ridiculous and constant price increases already got me down from a once-a-week treat to maybe once every month or two.

    • TanakaAsuka@sh.itjust.works
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      10 months ago

      I find the wait times have gone up as they prioritise both drive thru and delivery options ahead of people actually at the counter.

    • Nindelofocho@lemmy.world
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      10 months ago

      it’s actually because they dont want you to go there and buy stuff if you buy stuff then they have to spend money to restock stuff and that hurts profits!

  • pixxelkick@lemmy.world
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    10 months ago

    This change happened awhile ago at places where I live, in Canada. Barely noticed it.

    Now they bring my drink to my table, instead of me having to awkwardly wait around for the cup so I can fill it up while they bring the food out.

    I don’t mind it at all, you still get a free refill btw, just gotta ask for it.

    Now I know some random kid hasnt gotten their sticky popsicle fingers all over my cup lid or tried to drink straight out of the machine end. I am very much in favor of that.

      • pixxelkick@lemmy.world
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        10 months ago

        They do indeed, Im in Western Canada. Even when press the to-go button, they ask me if I would prefer table service to check in.

        I think its my specific area of my specific city, its a little bit of a nicer corner of the city, and the mcdicks is a little bit more polished and clean. The folks working at them (there’s 2 of em) seem to be a bit more engaged.

        It might be a franchised chain in this area, so perhaps its the owner of the franchise encouraging it. Either way it works and I enjoy it.

  • kool_newt@lemm.ee
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    10 months ago

    My guess is this is a small move in a long term strategy to fully automate their restaurants. Everything needing a human will be re-worked to not need human labor or will be eliminated.

    • English Mobster@lemmy.world
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      10 months ago

      I’ve been saying this for years now.

      Within 20-30 years, most things as we know it will be automated.

      And so on.

      The point isn’t that the tech is good now - it isn’t. Wal-Mart didn’t keep their stocking robots. The AI lawyer got in a tremendous amount of legal trouble. AI journalism has been rolled back after quality issues.

      But do you think the technology will stay this bad?

      Like, remember what phones were like in 2003? People still had landlines. The closest thing to a smartphone was a Blackberry (which came out in 2002). 3G networks were brand-new (and spotty). None of it was very good, yet they got better and better and now here we are 20 years later where smartphones are an indispensable part of daily life for most people.

      What will automation look like in 2043? 2053? That’s within our lifetime. What kind of jobs will today’s kindergartners have available to them when they reach their 20s and 30s?

      There is nothing to indicate that automation will always be bad forever. There is money to be saved by cutting out the human element and replacing them with robots. It’s looking more and more reasonable to invest in R&D that eliminates human jobs, in every industry - from Uber and DoorDash drivers to semi drivers to tutors to artists to cashiers. It’s coming, and we have to think about how we’re going to support all the people that won’t have a job anymore.

        • English Mobster@lemmy.world
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          10 months ago

          It’s like you didn’t even read the last half of my comment.

          Of course it’s not good right now. I admitted as such. I even said the same things you said.

          But do you really think capitalism will just sit on its hands and let this stuff stay bad forever? Do you really think this is the apex of this tech? Half your arguments are “well don’t give them your business then”, disregarding the fact that change is already happening on the ground from AI drive-thrus to self-checkouts to the death of concept artists.

          It’s like the people saying the Internet was a fad, or people insisting climate change was overblown. Sticking your head in the sand and assuming that “it’ll never be good” is opening yourself up to being blindsided - because what if you’re wrong?

          Arrogantly assuming that this stuff will never get better is how we’d wind up with large swaths of the workforce kicked out of their jobs as they get replaced by robots. Assuming the status quo is always going to be the same is what we did with climate change for decades, and now we’re here and fucked.

          Could you imagine what would be different if we took climate change seriously in 2002? We’re dealing with the same sort of threat now. We should lobby for protections and legislation like UBI to ensure that the threat can’t come to pass - or if it does, that a broad social safety net can take care of everyone.

          You may work in FOSS, but I work in AAA game development as an engineer, primarily C++ - otherwise I have the same qualifications as you.

          I cannot talk about what I do but trust me when I say I see this stuff on the horizon from within the capitalistic beast. Things are in motion that I don’t think we can come back from. Execs have dollar signs in their eyes and R&D is full steam ahead.

          But let’s say I’m wrong, and for whatever reason all of automation is somehow a dead-end. What’s wrong with having a better safety net? What’s wrong with preparing workers better for large shocks to the economy?

          If we prepare and I’m wrong - then at least there’s a net benefit that will stick around next time a large depression or economic shock happens (e.g. COVID). If we don’t prepare and you are wrong, then huge sections of the economy are absolutely fucked.

          Which would you rather have?

        • exponential_wizard@lemm.ee
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          10 months ago

          If people were properly incentived we could easily automate out the fast majority of fast food and retail work. The only reason they haven’t is because minimum wage labor is so ludicrously cheap they don’t need to bother.

          The self driving and AI stuff is pretty stupid though.

    • tiredofsametab@kbin.social
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      10 months ago

      First this, then refills are no longer free (which is how it works in most of the world already). I imagine automation will also come in there as well.

      Margin on drinks is huge as they cost next to nothing.

    • aidan@lemmy.world
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      10 months ago

      How does this remove human labor? In a traditional fast food restaurant human labor will always be needed to wipe the tables for example also. If you mean not a traditional restaurant but instead becoming basically a store sized vending machine, that’s possible, but that would be such a different product that they wouldn’t already be making those changes in their existing stores.

  • Capt. Wolf@lemmy.world
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    10 months ago

    Food safety and theft prevention…

    Great so now you get to have your drink prepped from a machine that’s never been cleaned by the sweaty, overworked teen behind the counter who’s handled everyone’s dirty money and cards all day instead of going over to the machine that’s never been cleaned and touching the machine that all those same dirty people have touched.

    All because McDonald’s is worried about saving literally pennies to “food theft” which is just a fancy way of them saying they don’t want you getting free refills anymore.

    • PutangInaMo@lemmy.world
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      10 months ago

      It’s just an excuse to squeeze more profit…

      They’ve operated wonderfully and made billions in the decades before this decision. It’ll get to the point where corporations won’t even try to sugar coat these moves.

      “We’re removing food wrappers and packaging because we make more money that way” we’ll be seeing this in the headlines in the next 5 years.

      It started with defaulting to not putting ketchup packets in your bag without telling you, and even now if you ask at the drive thru 50/50 you get it anyways.

      • thecrotch@sh.itjust.works
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        10 months ago

        Imagine how much waste was generated giving people ketchup packets they might not want and end up throwing away. This sounds like an example of doing the right thing for the wrong reason.

    • Iron Lynx@lemmy.world
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      10 months ago

      This. I can’t remember walking into a Macca’s in my country with self-serve drinks. And contrary to what you would expect from someone describing the place as “Macca’s,” I live in The Netherlands.

  • arthurpizza@lemmy.world
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    10 months ago

    They did that in a McD near where I live. Before, when I wanted a refill I would:

    • Get a refill

    Clearly we can make this process better. Now at the newly remodeled McD it’s as simple as:

    • Wait at the counter to get an overworked employees attention
    • Tell them you want a refill
    • Throw your entire cup away in the trash
    • Wait for your replacement drink

    “It’s an evolution toward convenience,” Mikel Petro

  • hark@lemmy.world
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    10 months ago

    They’ve been penny-pinching and jacking up prices aggressively. For something called “fast food” it is not really fast anymore. The rare time I’ve been to mcdonalds since the pandemic, it looks like they keep the number of employees to two people at a time in each location and the drive-thru line takes forever to move. Not going to miss it since it was rare for me to go to mcdonalds even before the pandemic, but the general penny-pinching pisses me off and mcdonalds seems like one of the worst offenders. I think they’ve been wanting to rebrand as “casual dining” or whatever, but based on their approach it’s really just a market segment that doesn’t make sense to me. Shitty food, small portions, high prices, and slow service. I have no idea why people still go there.

    • Femcowboy@lemm.ee
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      10 months ago

      McDonalds has crashed in quality since the pandemic. During the pandemic everyone was really competing for market share and improving their menus… Except McDonalds, and now that we’re out of the pandemic, everyone is pinching including McDonalds. I’d really rather go anywhere else except maybe BK.

  • robocall@lemmy.world
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    10 months ago

    The mcdonalds near me removed self serve soda during the pandemic and never brought them back. I can still request free refills but a staff member does it from behind the counter.

    • sibannac@lemmy.world
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      10 months ago

      You can still ask for it but there’s no guarantee that the proportions will be right.

  • Generic_Handel@kbin.social
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    10 months ago

    I said goodbye to McDonalds (and Wendy’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, Arbys etc.) 15 years ago.
    Poor health isn’t a good trade for convenience.

    It was right after I had the baconator for the first time.
    It was kind of a wake up call, I just said “Holy shit what am I doing to myself”.

    • aidan@lemmy.world
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      10 months ago

      Fast food is high in salt and sugar, but assuming you overall are fairly healthy eating it occasionally isn’t terrible for you.

  • lud@lemm.ee
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    10 months ago

    I have never encountered any place (except IKEA) that allows you to refill using those unless you pay a bit extra.

    • English Mobster@lemmy.world
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      10 months ago

      Where do you live? In California it’s commonplace that self-serve station refills are free.

      The main exceptions are touristy places like Disneyland. But most places have the dispensers on the dining room side (not the cash register side) so you can get free refills.

    • aidan@lemmy.world
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      10 months ago

      That’s the European thing, most fastfood restaurants in America allow it. The two places in Czech Republic that allow it(KFC and Burger King) have people save their cups and refill them days later so I imagine that kind of theft is why more places don’t have it. Also, European restaurants in general monetize drinks a lot more. In the US it is common for sit-down restaurants to refill your drinks for free, and water is always free (to the point where California passed a law requiring a restaurant asks if you want water before bringing it, to conserve water)