In summary, robots are cheap. Fast food chains will make an upfront investment in the units, then the cost will, over time, simply involve IT maintenance and a store manager adding up receipts. A basic McDonalds restaurant will need 2-3 people packaging up the food.
In Moscow, the “express order” units are everywhere (McDonalds, Burger King, etc…) and I must admit, they are very fast and efficient, and multilingual to boot.
Don’t take my word for it. Here is exactly what will happen when the $15 per hour wage takes effect, as reported by Zerohedge:
…former McDonalds’ CEO Ed Rensi continued his crusade against the naive “solution” to poor living standards that has been peddled by a clueless administration in the form of a higher federal minimum wage, and after he patiently explained one month ago that “the $15 minimum wage demand, which translates to $30,000 a year for a full-time employee, is built upon a fundamental misunderstanding of a restaurant business just do the math” Rensi found that nobody has still done the math.
Which is perhaps why the ex-CEO reappeared on Fox Business yesterday to explain to Maria Bartiromo that as fast-food workers across the country vie for $15 per hour wages, many business owners have already begun to take humans out of the picture, McDonalds most certainly included.
As Rensi admitted, “I was at the National Restaurant Show yesterday and if you look at the robotic devices that are coming into the restaurant industry – it’s cheaper to buy a $35,000 robotic arm than it is to hire an employee who’s inefficient making $15 an hour bagging French fries – it’s nonsense and it’s very destructive and it’s inflationary and it’s going to cause a job loss across this country like you’re not going to believe.”
“It’s not just going to be in the fast food business. Franchising is the best business model in the United States. It’s dependent on people that have low job skills that have to grow. Well if you can’t get people a reasonable wage, you’re going to get machines to do the work. It’s just common sense. It’s going to happen whether you like it or not. And the more you push this it’s going to happen faster,” the former McDonalds Chief Executive added.
Rensi also said that we should do away with the federal minimum wage and leave it up to the states, which is quite logical. It’s also why it will never happen.
“I think we ought to have a multi-faceted wage program in this country. If you’re a high school kid, you ought to have a student wage. If you’re an entry level worker you ought to have a separate wage. The states ought to manage this because they know more [about] what’s going on the ground than anybody in Washington D.C.” Spot on.
As a reminder, this is how Rensi concluded his tirade against the minimum wage last month: “I suspect that the labor organizers behind this campaign for a $15 minimum wage are less interested in helping employees, and more interested in helping themselves to dues money from their paycheck. They’re unlikely to succeed in their goal of organizing the employees of McDonald’s franchisees, but they may well succeed in passing $15 into law in other sympathetic locales.”
And that’s the whole truth. You’ll see their legacy every time you visit the Golden Arches, where “would you like fries with that” will soon be an ubiquitous button on a computer screen telling a robotic arm in the kitchen what to prepare, all at a wage of $0.00/hour.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.