Andy Puzder, the CEO of fast-food chain Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, is exploring automation as a solution for rising labor costs due to the recent arbitrary increases in minimum wages across the country. He has revealed plans to explore employee-free restaurants “where you order on a kiosk, you pay with a credit or debit card, your order pops up, and you never see a person.”
Puzder explained, “With government driving up the cost of labor, it’s driving down the number of jobs…You’re going to see automation not just in airports and grocery stores, but in restaurants… If you’re making labor more expensive, and automation less expensive — this is not rocket science.”
Puzder is not alone in viewing automation as the future of his restaurants. Applebee’s, Chili’s, and McDonald’s are all exploring the option already in use by a popular, growing new chain. Via the Washington Policy Center:
“One of the nation’s fastest growing new fast-food restaurants has modeled its business on the automated dining experience. Eatsa restaurants, which was recently named one of the most influential brands in the restaurant industry by Nation’s Restaurant News, serves up custom-made quinoa bowls with zero human interaction. Customers order and pay from a kiosk, human workers assemble the bowls behind a wall and orders are placed in glass cubbies with light up when ready. So while the process relies on human workers to cook the food, the customers never interact, or even see, a human. The automated process allows Eatsa to handle 300 to 400 customers an hour during peak times.”
According to Eatsa, the automated system allows them to provide “better food, faster, and at an unprecedented price of just $6.95.”
The change as a result of minimum wages as high as $15 per hour should come as no surprise. After all, this is a repeat of what happened in France. After the country hiked minimum wages, fast food companies responded by installing automated service machines and people lost their jobs.
And yet liberals like Nick Hanauer, David Rolf, etc., continue to claim that higher minimum wages won’t result in job losses. Of course, it’s not their job that will be lost, so what do they care?