Automated Ordering Kiosks Arrive At a Bronx McDonald’s as Minimum Wage Jumps to $12 Per Hour

A local Bronx McDonald’s has upgraded not only its facilities but has also modernized its ordering systems with kiosks where you place and customize your orders and pay without any human interaction—all without having to downsize staff. 

Located at The Hub on Third Avenue and 149th Street in Melrose, the busy McDonald’s was closed for the better part of a month while renovations went on in the two-story space and getting ready for order automation. 

But contrary to fears that the fight for an increase to $15 minimum wage was the impetus behind McDonald’s automating their systems, it seems that the opposite has happened at this particular location. 

Typically one would see maybe 7 or 8 people working from cashiers to the kitchen but instead of less workers, there were over 20 behind the counter over the weekend when we dropped by to see the space. 

According to a manager who provided comments but not authorized to speak on the issue, they went from roughly 50 employees across all shifts to over 80 since they re-opened. 

“We can get orders out so much faster now with more people working,” he said. 

Employees also appeared more excited and happier now that many have seen an increase of almost $2 as of this past New Year’s Eve. 

Currently, the kiosks are only for those paying with credit or debit cards so if you prefer the old fashioned way, you can still walk up to a cashier and place your order. 

For now, it seems that fears of  being replaced by technology won’t be happening anytime soon. 

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Ed García Conde

Ed García Conde is a life-long Bronxite who spends his time documenting the people, places, and things that make the borough a special place in the hopes of dispelling the negative stereotypes associated with The Bronx. His writings are often cited by mainstream media and is often consulted for his expertise on the borough's rich history.