Did you ever wonder what ever happened to those workers when you get a nice back splash of gasoline you're pumping yourself in 8 degree weather.
You'd think that for all this talk about raising the minimum wage, some people might throw those memories out.
And yet people are going to be shocked, shocked when increased wages for fast food workers increases the demand for self serve kiosks.............
Wendy’s is currently taking flak for testing automated kiosks. They plan to make 6,000 automated kiosks available to their franchise stores by the end of the year. This isn’t a new thing. McDonald’s has been testing this for years in Romeoville, Illinois, and all over Europe, including Berlin of course. As big corporations are wont to do, they cite the prospect of declining profits due to wage increases (which is impossible in Germany with their justly strict worker’s rights). This is about maximizing profits and increasing safety, full stop. 30% of a restaurant’s costs come from staff. Maintaining iPads and burger flipping robots will cost much, much less. That’s just reality at this point. Also, you don’t have to worry about a robot rubbing your food on its genitals. So there’s that.
There’s been a considerable backlash against McDonald’s and now Wendy’s for this. Curious given that when 100% automated and robotic Eatsa opened in San Francisco it was met with white-privilege glee. Then again, they’re selling quinoa bowls. But, it’s the same thing. They’ve chosen not to hire as many — or any — staff as a regular fast food restaurant to maximize profits for themselves.
Let’s not kid ourselves.
It makes sense for McDonald’s in Berlin to become automatized. There is universal health care, education and retirement. If you lose your job at Micky-D’s, you can go back to school for free and learn something new while the state pays your rent, childcare, and health insurance. But that simply is nowhere near reality anywhere in the United States. Unfortunately technology is by-passing basic human rights in the USA. There are going to be a lot of people left behind with no real recourse for forming a new life and career without major sacrifices. That’s just wrong. US policy on basic human rights for its citizens needs to catch up with its advancing technology, fast. It’s sad we’re still arguing in the US about a fair wage for workers the world doesn’t even need anymore.
Some people will never learn.