Wendy's To Replace Workers With Self-Service Kiosks Due To Minimum Wage Increases


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Wendy's To Replace Workers With Self-Service Kiosks Due To Minimum Wage Increases
Christine Rousselle | May 13, 2016

Fast-food workers have engaged in the #FightFor15 for quite a while now, but one chain has a different way of ensuring that labor costs remain low without having to raise the cost of a product. Wendy's plans on installing self-service kiosks at over 6,000 locations to replace cashiers. This is in response to laws mandating higher wages.

Wendy’s (WEN) said that self-service ordering kiosks will be made available across its 6,000-plus restaurants in the second half of the year as minimum wage hikes and a tight labor market push up wages.

It will be up to franchisees whether to deploy the labor-saving technology, but Wendy’s President Todd Penegor did note that some franchise locations have been raising prices to offset wage hikes.

McDonald’s (MCD) has been testing self-service kiosks. But Wendy’s, which has been vocal about embracing labor-saving technology, is launching the biggest potential expansion.

Wendy’s Penegor said company-operated stores, only about 10% of the total, are seeing wage inflation of 5% to 6%, driven both by the minimum wage and some by the need to offer a competitive wage “to access good labor.”

Yikes. Kiosks, of course, do the job of a human at the cost of $0 per hour.

Automation is coming,...



Tall Timbers

Imperfect but forgiven
Those kiosks will be dumb terminals. It won't be long before we've got AI robots of some kind taking our order as we speak to them... and getting it right... and AI robot cooks, and AI robots who constantly clean the kitchen. Nobody will be late to work. No one calling in sick. The only headache for the franchise owner will be the AI robot repairman... if he/she is human.

I saw some order consoles at a McDonalds in the San Diego area. I started to use it but couldn't figure out how to ask for a military discount, so ended the process and went up to the counter to order.

Now I just wondered if they'll have an AI Robot employee of the month board with the winner's picture on it? :)


I can completely understand Wendy's position. Businesses are in business to make a profit, not to be charitable organizations nor should anyone expect them to operate on a shoestring. A free market would allow businesses to set the wages and prices at any level they want. People would then purchase from and work for the businesses that offered the best balance of profit and wages. Those businesses that got things out of balance would not be in business for long.


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"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might."(Ephesians 6:10)


"God said it, that settles it!"
Just saw this thread and I want to comment that our local Wendy's has not installed any kiosks, but one of the local McDonald's restaurants did install 3 of the kiosks back in the summer. My wife and I eat at that McDonald's several times a week and we hardly ever see anyone use those kiosks to order their food.

Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
I purposely go to a live person at stores when I can to support their jobs. Wonder if others might have the same idea ( besides being intimidated by the machines)?