Satirical news website, “News Examiner,” reports: “After seeing a decline in earnings for the first time in nine years, McDonald’s plans to do something no other restaurant of its kind has ever done before; open a store run entirely by robots.”
“In the end, it will come down to what is best for the shareholders and the customers. The potential employees hoping to make a minimum wage of $15 per hour, maybe not so much,” the lampoon concludes.
While McRobots running a restaurant are fictional, McDonald’s did place 7,000 touch screens throughout its European stores in 2011. And then there’s ‘Momentum Machines’ which has built a robot that “isn’t meant to make employees more efficient. It’s meant to completely obviate them,” according to a 2014 Business Insider report.
The robot can “slice toppings like tomatoes and pickles immediately before it places the slice onto your burger, giving you the freshest burger possible,” and is “more consistent, more sanitary, and can produce 360 hamburgers per hour.” In fact, the company’s site boasts that their robot “does everything employees can do, except better.”
Panera Bread plans to introduce self-service ordering kiosks and mobile ordering options to all of its properties by 2017. Meanwhile, Chili’s and Applebee’s has already placed tablets on their tables, letting customers order and pay “without interacting with human wait staff at all.”
These changes are worth considering as Seattle, San Francisco and most recently Los Angeles have adopted a $15 an hour minimum wage, more than double the current federal minimum-wage law of $7.25. Other cities like Chicago, Washington, D.C., and California’s Oakland, have raised their minimum wage as well, though not as much.
In Oakland voters chose to increase the minimum wage from $9 an hour to $12.25 an hour earlier this year. So far at least four restaurants and six grocery stores in the cities’ Chinatown district have closed shop as a result of the increase.
Seattle’s $15 minimum wage law went into effect April 1, 2015, leading to wide-spread closings of restaurants across the city. And now, California’s Senate has approved raising the state’s required hourly rate to $11 in 2016 and $13 in 2017 and will continue increasing annually starting in 2019 based on inflation.
Progressives aimed the wage increase campaign at fast-food businesses hoping to destroy the industry — but because they don’t believe in ‘American exceptionalism’ they cannot foresee the ‘free market system’ and its response to a ‘manufactured crisis’ and calls for ‘social justice.’