The Left is incapable of grasping the most basic concepts -- be they political, societal, or economic -- and while it continues its crusade to raise the minimum wage for all Americans working in hourly roles, companies will routinely find ways to circumvent the economic doom those higher labor costs promise.
With this in mind, Wendy's is slated to install automated, self-ordering kiosks in 1,000 of its locations by the end of 2017. That equates to roughly 16 percent of all its locations. Needless to say, if successful (and it will be), kiosks will replace the majority of lower-skilled workers at fast-food chains and other types of businesses around the country. The Columbus Dispatch 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."
Trimm said the kiosks accomplish two purposes: They give younger customers an ordering experience that they prefer, and they reduce labor costs.
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. "They are also trying to enhance the customer experience. Younger customers prefer to use a kiosk." [...]
Demand for the technology is high, and higher-volume stores will get priority, said Heidi Schauer, Wendy's spokeswoman.
Among the 1,000 kiosks will be close to 100 at company-owned stores. There already are kiosks in some central Ohio locations where Wendy's has tested the technology.
Kiosks might not immediately replace workers, but instead shift labor to other areas, Tristano said. Kiosks might also mitigate the rise of wages, something Wendy's noted as well.
"Last year was tough — 5 percent wage inflation," said Wendy's COO Bob Wright during a presentation to investors last week. Noting that the company expects a 4 percent wage increase in 2017, Wright asked, "the real question is what are we doing about it?"
Wright noted that over the past two years, his chain has eliminated 31 hours of labor per week from its restaurants and that kiosks ensure better order accuracy.
They also always show up to work on time and don't demand a living wage.