Welcome to the First Ever McDonald’s Where You’re Served by Robots—In Texas

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McDonald’s has begun testing its first-ever robot restaurant in Texas, sparking debate and intrigue in equal measure.

In Fort Worth, Texas, the branch is fully automated and requires no human contact to order and pick up your favorite meal.

The introvert’s dream gained viral attention online after TikTok and Instagram user foodiemunster shared a video from inside. With 1.2 million views, the video shows how customers can use automated screens to order fast food and collect it via a machine.

Pictures from the Texas McDonald’s that is trailing a completely automated restaurant. No human contact is required.

McDonald’s explained in a statement that the restaurant includes new features including the “Order Ahead lane,” where customers can receive their order on a conveyor belt.

The restaurant is the latest move in McDonald’s “Accelerating the Arches” growth strategy, which is working on innovation to improve customer experiences.

“When you step inside the test restaurant concept, you’ll notice it’s considerably smaller than a traditional McDonald’s restaurant in the U.S. Why? The features—inside and outside—are geared toward customers who are planning to dine at home or on the go,” McDonald’s said in the statement.

“Inside the restaurant, there’s a delivery pick-up room for couriers to retrieve orders quickly and conveniently. There are also kiosks, where customers can place their orders to go, and a pick-up shelf for orders. Outside the restaurant, there are several parking spaces dedicated to curbside order pick-up, as well as designated parking spaces for delivery drivers.”

The introduction of the new technology has divided people online who were unsure about the ethical impact of the change.

“Well there goes millions of jobs,” said one commenter, while another added: “Honestly if they go through with this I’ll just boycott McDonald’s, their food’s mid at best anyway.”

“This will put so many people out of work,” said another commenter. “I’m not for it.”

Newsweek has reached out to McDonald’s for comment.

McDonald's Fort Worth Texas
Pictures from McDonald’s Fort Worth, Texas, that is trailing the first automated McDonald’s. There is no need for human contact.

Foodiemunster told Newsweek: “The automation works like a factory, so not like you would see in the movies etc. I believe McDonald’s has done well designing this test concept. As someone who grew up visiting and loving McDonald’s—I prefer the prior designs. I am a huge McDonald’s fan. I love the food and the experience. I love the ambiance and the people serving us. I hate to see McDonald’s lose that.”

Another TikToker asked: “Who are all the Karens supposed to scream at now? The robots?”

But others were excited about the concept of the all-new technology. One Twitter user said: “I have a feeling the burgers and service will be way better,” while another said “the future is here” after getting a glimpse of the newly opened McDonald’s.

“The technology in this restaurant not only allows us to serve our customers in new, innovative ways, it gives our restaurant team the ability to concentrate more on order speed and accuracy, which makes the experience more enjoyable for everyone,” explains Keith Vanecek, the franchisee operating the test restaurant. “I am immensely proud to have this new restaurant concept serving our customers in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.”

Currently the unique concept can only be found at this one location, where it is being tested, but the McDonald’s team say that their “test and learn” concept for the store means they hope to benefit restaurant teams and customers around the world in the future.

“I believe this test concept could mean a monumental change for the fast food industry. I am blown away by the viral reaction. I am so grateful for the reaction,” said foodiemunster.

UPDATE 12/23/22, 02:40 a.m. ET: This article was updated with additional comment from foodiemunster.

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