Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.

 

You knew this day would come. You just didn't know which day it would be.

No, I'm not talking about world insanity. I'm talking about something even more immediate and all-enveloping: McDonald's.

For some time now, there have been mutterings from the fast-food industry that it would like to reduce its dependency on, well, people.

Carl's Jr. CEO Andy Puzder remarked last year that he'd be fascinated by a restaurant where "you order on a kiosk, you pay with a credit or debit card, your order pops up, and you never see a person."

(Oh, and since you ask yes, this is the same Andy Puzder who's currently nominated to be Labor Secretary.)

Those pesky employees demand money and managing. Just think how much you'd save without them.

This week, the concept bears a little fruition. At McDonald's.

On Tuesday, one Boston-area McDonald's will enjoy an ATM.

No, not one that dishes out money. One that dishes out Big Macs.

As Eater reports, this wheeze is in celebration of the Grand Mac and its mini-me, two new sizes being thrust into the world by the chain.

In this case, customers won't have to put money into the ATM. Instead, they'll have to offer up their Twitter handle and agree to a highly pro-McDonald's tweet.

Of course, there will be some human involvement in the making of the actual burgers.

Vincent Spadea, who owns and operates many McDonald's in Massachusetts, told Eater: "The burgers are cooked on-site at [a nearby] McDonald's and then immediately loaded into the heated machine, which is refilled on an ongoing basis to ensure fresh quality."

But, even though it's only for a day, this may be the beginning of Puzder's dream.

Somewhere out back, burgers are still being made by hand (for now), but the contact the customers have with the restaurant is merely between their lips and the burgers.

Of course, if your burger is undercooked, cold or, perish the notion, yesterday's, you'll have to complain. But to whom?

Do you berate the machine? Do you slap it and kick it, as so many have done with vending machines in the past?

Or do you accept that this is the modern world and machines are all you have?

You could, of course, send out a tweet that's less pro-McDonald's and demand immediate restitution.

But by the time a human has made the burger and brought it to the ATM, you'll be long gone.

To Shake Shack. They still have humans, don't they?

Published on: Jan 29, 2017
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.