In response to recent minimum wage hikes, McDonald’s is now experimenting with a self-serve kiosk.
Currently the kiosk, spotted at a McDonald’s in downtown Chicago, only allows customers to serve themselves coffee, but there’s no reason why a similar kiosk couldn’t be expanded with other offerings in the future.
— Joe McDonald (@Joe_McDonald) April 5, 2016
“In essence, this is the company’s latest venture to make employees responsible for one less task as corporate HQ slowly but surely responds to minimum wage hikes sweeping all states, and in the process, outsource its minimum wage workers to simple machines which will never unionize or have any demands aside from being cleaned occasionally,” Zero Hedge reported.
Fast food workers demanded a $15 an hour minimum wage and union rights in strikes across 270 cities back in November, but their jobs may eventually be taken over by autonomous burger-making robots.
One such robot, developed by the San Francisco start-up Momentum Machines, can replicate a fast food worker by shaping burger patties from ground meat, grilling them, adding the specified amount of ingredients, and serving them to customers on a conveyor belt.
Many fast food chains may be forced to outsource jobs to these machines because they cannot afford to stay in business paying workers $15 an hour, given the number of restaurants that have already closed after Seattle enacted such a minimum wage.
“It’s simple economics really, which apparently the purveyors of the minimum wage have no knowledge of,” Joshua Krause of the Daily Steeple reported. “They artificially raised the price of services across the board, and look what happened? The businesses that couldn’t afford it either shut down or laid off workers, and the businesses that could afford it simply shifted some money around by eliminating benefits and putting those dollars toward wages.”
“What the supporters of a higher minimum wage just don’t get, is that it hurts poor unskilled workers the most.”