Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Wendy's to install ordering kiosks.

Remember how there used to be gas station attendants? Some kid (or grown man sometimes, I recall) in a uniform would fill your tank and clean your windshield for you. Ever wonder why you never see that anymore? Minimum wage.

The correct (and only) answer to minimum wage hikes is to fire staff.

As Dispatch.com reports, the Dublin-based burger giant started offering kiosks last year, and demand for the technology has been high from both customers and franchise owners.

"There is a huge amount of pull from (franchisees) in order to get them," David Trimm, Wendy's chief information officer, said last week during the company's investors' day.


"With the demand we are seeing ... we can absolutely see our way to having 1,000 or more restaurants live with kiosks by the end of the year."


A typical store would get three kiosks for about $15,000. Trimm estimated the payback on those machines would be less than two years, thanks to labor savings and increased sales. Customers still could order at the counter.


Kiosks are where the industry is headed, but Wendy's is ahead of the curve, said Darren Tristano, vice president with Technomic, a food-service research and consulting firm.


"They are looking to improve their automation and their labor costs, and this is a good way to do it," he said.

Who could have seen that coming? As we noted previously, minimum wage laws - while advertised under the banner of social justice - do not live up to the claims made by those who tout them. They do not lift low wage earners to a so-called "social minimum". Indeed, minimum wage laws — imposed at the levels employed in Europe — push a considerable number of people into unemployment. And, unless those newly unemployed qualify for government assistance (read: welfare), they will sink below, or further below, the social minimum.

This is already in place in Ontario McDonalds, and being well used. Next step will be a McDonalds app for your phone. I know nothing at this point, I have no rumor, no news release. But if they're not working on rolling something like that out, I would be shocked. Because then they can eliminate the $5,000-each terminals and make you use your own hardware.

The cashiers of this world had best polish up their resumes, is my guess. Because a kiosk that costs $5K this year will cost half that in two years. Where the big companies go, the little companies follow. A store with five employees this year will have one security guard in five years. Most likely the owner. Because he won't have the profit margin to hire a security guard.

Picture this: your grocery store is really a warehouse they let you walk through. Same with Home Depot etc. What if they took your order and your credit card from your phone and the bags of groceries came out a little door at the front? Think of how many people they could fire and how much HR hassle they could avoid by doing that! Think of the fun of going shopping, tapping on your tiny little phone screen, loading all your crap in the car yourself, and never having to speak to a human being the whole time. Wouldn't that be great?

I hasten to assure you that the tech required to do that exists now and people are working furiously to make it happen now. If not sooner. Because the alternative is bankruptcy.

Or, the companies could hire illegals under the table and pay them five bucks an hour. That's how its done presently. Illegal foreign workers. Low wages, no HR issues, easy replacement. Companies offload all their staffing and moral humanitarian issues onto the public purse.

The Mechanized Phantom

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