As if there isn’t already enough ways to limit your social interaction, you soon won’t even have to talk to anyone to get your food at McDonalds. The fast food giant is testing out a way for you to order your food and pay for it using their mobile app and PayPal. There are currently 30 restaurants in France that are taking place in this test. Not only will you be able to pay and order without talking to anyone, there will be a separate line for mobile users to pick up their food. That means you can get your lunch with only a grunt of thanks to the person who puts it on the counter for you.
Now, I’m not all against the cool ways to use your smartphone and tablet or PayPal to make and receive payments. We are almost living in a cashless society, and I’m perfectly OK with that. I am regularly paid via PayPal, and I love it. My wife and I both have PayPal debit cards. I have it setup so that my checking account is my backup payment, so I never have to worry about my card being declined for lack of funds. I get an email every time one of our cards are swiped, so I know exactly who is using it and how much is being taken out of my account. As a bonus, I get 1% cash back every month whenever I use my PayPal card as credit. That’s a much higher percentage than my bank will give me, and usually means I get $10-20 back each month, just for spending my money. Who wouldn’t love that?
What I don’t like is using technology unnecessarily like this. I get that the whole point of fast food is to be fast, but does it really save time to find what you want to eat in an app versus telling a real person your order? The last time I was at McDonalds, even paying with my PayPal card (or any other card for that matter) was a very fast and painless thing. They can usually have it swiped and back in my hand before the car in front of me gets their drink situated in the cup holder. I really don’t see this saving time.
On the other hand, if this guaranteed me that my order would be correct every time, I might have to give it a try. But I also know there is still a human on the other end making my burger, and as long as there is a human, there is the chance for error. And besides, none of us are perfect, so I might as well just try and enjoy that fish sandwich even when my receipt shows me I paid for a burger.