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0744, 17 Aug 15

Minimum Wage Hikes Accelerate Automation

Yeah, pretty much. The push for a higher minimum wage is forcing the automation in the restaurant industry that inflated union wages did for the automotive industry decades ago. It’s not politics. It’s math.

Of course, it’s possible to imagine all kinds of dramatic productivity enhancements. Persona ­Pizzeria’s Miller predicts that drone delivery systems will eventually get rid of the need to come into a restaurant at all, for example. Brewer has a bold prediction: He thinks that all the automation working its way into restaurants could eventually cut staffing levels in half. The remaining employees would just need to learn how to operate the machines and fix things when they break.

“You don’t want a $15-an-hour person doing something that the person who makes $7 an hour can do,” Brewer said. “It’s not downgrading the employees. It’s that the employees become managers of a bunch of different systems. They’ll become smarter and smarter.”


0744, 17 August 2015

1 Comment

  1. Kevin Scheunemann

    I would eliminate 4 positions, maybe 5 positions on next minimum wage hike.

    It would be a simple decision.

    Switch to pre-manufactured dilly bars and other ice cream novelties.

    We make them in store right now at a savings to the technology. I pay several teenagers/adult employees just for that purpose.

    If wage exceeds the cost of buying automated product, have to switch to automated product.

    Some DQ’s have switched by simple lack of employees available in many areas.

    All minimum wage hike is take job opportunity away from areas that need job opportunity, especially teenagers.

    Automated/self serve order ring is not far behind and Wendy’s is working on automated grill area.

    Restaurants will automate rather than raise prices to compensate for this.

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