The employees of McDonald’s that participated in the Fight for Fifteen sponsored by the SEIU probably never saw this coming but everyone else in America did.
After a year of insisting that flipping burgers and taking orders was worth fifteen dollars an hour, many McDonald’s employees must be wondering if they will even have jobs after McDonald’s announced that all of their stores will have self service kiosks in every store by 2020. They may not stop there. There is a burger making machine that can prepare 300 burgers a day complete with condiments and wrapping. Faced with the prospect of having to pay $15 an hour, the machines suddenly looked more cost effective than before.
McDonald’s claims that the employees will be given other positions. What positions? Maitre d? Hostesses? Greeters? Chef? The kiosks will help in another way. Since you are not as rushed at a kiosk as at a register, you might tend to buy more. Of course the kiosks will have to have a voice function so it can ask you if you want an apple pie to go with your order.
The best solution to wages is to let the market dictate them. A Chick-fil-A have just announced that they would be starting workers at 17 to 18 dollars an hour in an effort to keep good workers. They could afford to do that. But Democrats insist that bad workers deserve the same pay as bad ones.
CEO Steve Easterbrook told CNBC this week his restaurant chain will roll out the self-order kiosks in 1,000 new stores each quarter.
He estimated that half of the 14,000 U.S.-based stores would have the kiosks by the end of 2018 and every location would utilize the technology by 2020. He said about 3,500 restaurants already use the automated machines, or about one-quarter of the McDonald’s U.S. portfolio.
Easterbrook added that McDonald’s locations in Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia are already “fully integrated” with the technology, while a majority of locations in France and Germany use it.
The reason behind the kiosks? According to Easterbook, McDonald’s has discovered customers “dwell” at the self-ordering stations, meaning they also buy more.
“What we’re finding is when people dwell more, they select more. There’s a little bit of an average check boost,” he said on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” on Monday.