The issue with automats in the past is possibly
technological, in that it is not as flexible as human
operators in switching orders around.
E.g. In the past, each surface is dedicated to only a
particular food, along with a coin operated slot nearby.
And food had to be made first in anticipation
of a sale,
rather than made to order. This was necessary due to the
technological limitation of the past.
Why is this not the case anymore?
Because we can decouple the 'payment section' from the
'receiving food' section via advance tech now.
Instead of a payment station next to each stationary slot,
you can put a few kiosk on one end instead (or make it
totally wireless via the internet. Best to have both).
# receiving food/products
Instead of a dedicated slot for a specific food, the
receiving section is done as a FIFO buffer. This is by
transport or conveyor system, with a door on each
for people to get their food (but without stealing other).
The backend could be either fully automated, or
human. In the past it was mostly human and we didn't
really have enough of automation or minimum wage to
provide the incentive to actually automate the backend.
with the cheap human labor, might as well get them to
kiosk work, and if so then why bother with automats.
This is not so any more. Rightfully more places are
minimum wage, and technology has improve enough to
a serious competitor to human work.
Thus with backend starting to be automated, we might
well start phasing out humans in the front end as well.
Especially as now there is a price (via minimum wage)
against the externalities of undervaluing human work.
So there we have it, we should implement automats, as
they are faster, and more reliable, and frankly means
people will be out of work.
Now just got to deal with ensuring the well being of
out of a job, by ensuring that part of the increase in
efficiency by automation actually reaches to those who
now out of work because of it.
Otherwise, we just get neo-Luddite, who if they win, will
set us back a while. And they will be right to do so.