Panera Bread, a national fast food powerhouse known for its soups and breads, has aimed its sights at a technological future. The company, led by CEO Ron Shaich, is transitioning its stores from a tradition of long lines and cash registers to automated ordering kiosks with smart phone applications.
While it may seem like everything we know and love is soon going to be built with smart phone applications, most see this change as a positive one. The biggest issue discussed at fast food industry conferences each year is long waiting lines; in fact, the likes of Pizza Hut and Chipotle are considering making a similar change.
And for those worried about the implications on the job market, it shouldn't be a problem, at least for Panera. Shaich claims no jobs will be lost through the transition, as those previously working the registers will now be utilized preparing food or delivering dishes to the tables.
Overall, this change doesn't come as much of a surprise; it was only a matter of time before fast food caught on to modern technology. You can finally order a chicken noodle bread bowl from your car and have it ready when you walk in the door. I wouldn't even be surprised if a drone brought me the soup five years down the line, either.