by Terresa Monroe-Hamilton | May 15, 2016 11:46 am
Wow. Wendy’s must have already had this in their plans. They are installing self-service kiosks in their 6,000 restaurants across the nation… by year’s end. I guess they want to start amortizing the investment immediately. This will avoid the $15 an hour minimum wage and this will stop it in its tracks concerning Wendy’s at least. Burger King and McDonald’s are following suit. Somebody is going to get filthy rich over this. Whoever is manufacturing the kiosks will make a fortune off them, especially as the technology spreads to other parts of these same restaurants and throughout the industry. Then the maintenance contracts and the replacement parts will be another fortune to be had. Repairs will be made by subcontractors of the manufacturer, not the restaurants. It will be a massive adjustment to the market. Wendy’s has opened 90° Labs in Ohio to produce their kiosks, so their technology will be proprietary. They’ll make a fortune off it.
From UFP News:
Wendy’s plans to install self-serve kiosks in its more than 6,000 restaurants nationwide by year’s end as some states and localities are raising the minimum wage.
After New York state and California and various localities have having begun hiking the minimum wage, Wendy’s recent decision to increase automation to reduce labor costs comes as no surprise. Why have a worker input your order when you can do it yourself?
Besides technology to reduce labor costs, Wendy’s President Todd Penegor noted on the company’s quarterly conference call, that some of its franchise locations have been raising prices to offset the minimum-wage increase, according to Investor’s Business Daily.
“Wendy’s Penegor said company-operated stores, only about 10 percent of the total, are seeing wage inflation of 5 percent to 6 percent, driven both by the minimum wage and some by the need to offer a competitive wage ‘to access good labor,’” IBD reported.
McDonald’s, Burger King and other restaurants are likely to follow suit.
This will cut automation and employment costs. It will cut insurance costs, as well as regulatory red tape. People will be served faster, better and be happier. Eventually, it will be cheaper. It’s a win win. I know a lot of people will be out of work and have to retrain and look for other employment, but in the long run, this is a very, very good thing I think. This is the predictable backlash to demanding what Marxists term a “livable wage.” The market should determine wages. When you mess with it, the market will adjust and find a way. And sometimes people get the opposite of what they demand. It is an inexorable economic law that nothing is ever free. Somebody pays for it some way, somehow. And advantages are often temporary. Instead of everyone getting $15 an hour, now most of those same people will get $0 an hour and be unemployed. They brought this on themselves and they were warned. Welcome to the age of technology… the great leveler of playing fields.
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