Robert Gehl explains that every time the minimum wage goes up, so does unemployment.
Want proof? Just ask the folks at Wendy’s. With labor costs rising – especially in big cities with even bigger minimum wages – the fast food giant has plans to replace employees with self-service kiosks at about 1,000 stores by the end of the year.
The average store would have as many as three separate kiosks, depending on how busy the store is, 10tv.com is reporting.
David Trimm, Wendy’s Chief Information Officer, said not only will the kiosks reduce labor costs, but they should appeal to younger customers. They will allow some customers to bypass long lines during busy times as well.
In less than two years, Trimm said they should see a return on their investment.
“They are looking to improve their automation and their labor costs, and this is a good way to do it,” said Darren Tristano, vice president with Technomic, a food-service research and consulting firm. “They are also trying to enhance the customer experience. Younger customers prefer to use a kiosk.”
McDonalds is quickly moving to kiosks too, the Palm Beach Post is reporting.
“The customers love it and they are enjoying having the employees interact with them,” said Michele Heisner, who owns 14 McDonald’s locations in Palm Beach County.
Heisner’s McDonald’s restaurant in Royal Palm Beach was the first in the county to offer the self-order kiosks. She said the kiosks have been installed at five of her 14 restaurants, including the location on Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard across from the Palm Beach Outlets in West Palm Beach.
McDonald’s has already installed these self-service kiosks at more than 500 restaurants in the United States and 2,600 around the globe.
Former McDonald’s CEO Ed Rensi summed up what raising the minimum wage to $15 nationally would mean:
“I guarantee you if a $15 minimum wage [law is passed], you’re going to see a job loss like you can’t believe. It’s cheaper [for a franchisee] to buy a $35,000 robot than it is to hire an employee who’s inefficient making $15 an hour bagging French fries,” he said. “I can assure you that a $15 minimum wage won’t spell the end of [McDonald’s]. However, it will mean wiping out thousands of entry-level opportunities for people without many other options.”
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