Surprise: $15 Minimum Wage Could Speed Arrival Of Robot Powered Fast Food Joints

The vastly Right Wing, worker hating Washington Post provides a glimpse of the future

Minimum-wage offensive could speed arrival of robot-powered restaurants

Crowded. That’s how Ed Rensi remembers what life was like working at McDonald’s back in 1966. There were about double the number of people working in the store — 70 or 80, as opposed to the 30 or 40 there today — because preparing the food just took a lot more doing.

“When I first started at McDonald’s making 85 cents an hour, everything we made was by hand,” Rensi said — from cutting the shortcakes to stirring syrups into the milk for shakes. Over the years, though, ingredients started to arrive packaged and pre-mixed, ready to be heated up, bagged and handed out the window.

“More and more of the labor was pushed back up the chain,” said Rensi, who went on to become chief executive of the company in the 1990s. The company kept employing more grill cooks and cashiers as it expanded, but each one of them accounted for more of each store’s revenue as more sophisticated cooking techniques allowed each to become more productive.

The industry could be ready for another jolt as a ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour nears in the District and as other campaigns to boost wages gain traction around the country. About 30 percent of the restaurant industry’s costs come from salaries, so burger-flipping robots — or at least super-fast ovens that expedite the process — become that much more cost-competitive if the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is doubled.

As the article points out, there are several factors which have been driving “robot restaurant” already. Too go with the ones mentioned in the excerpt, you have increasing costs of land, food costs, and plain old innovation. Much of that goes right into increased costs paid by the consumers. However, when you add a doubling of the wage required to be paid for low skill jobs, labor costs explode, meaning a cut-back in hours and personnel, and replacing them with machines.

As the old saying goes “be careful what you wish for. You might get it.”

Crossed at Right Wing News.

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13 Responses to “Surprise: $15 Minimum Wage Could Speed Arrival Of Robot Powered Fast Food Joints”

  1. Dana says:

    Robots don’t take vacations, robots don’t call out sick, and robots don’t make problems with the rest of the labor force. This is going to happen regardless of any increase in the minimum wage.

    Remember all of those science fiction depictions of the future, how we’d all have a life of leisure, with robots doing all of the work. Well, it’s happening, except for one thing: nobody factored in that with robots doing all of the work, there would be no jobs for the people!

  2. John says:

    How about an update on your projected skyrocketing of the unemployment rate due to Obamacare and the rise in minimum wage in all those liberal cities like Seattle Portland et al?

  3. gitarcarver says:

    How about an update on your projected skyrocketing of the unemployment rate due to Obamacare

    As a percentage, more people are out of the workforce than since the Great Depression.

    rise in minimum wage in all those liberal cities like Seattle

    Well let’s see…..

    a) restaurant employment nationally increased by 130,700 jobs (and by 1.2%) during that same period, b) overall employment in the Seattle MSA increased 1.2% and by 21,800 jobs and c) non-Seattle MSA restaurant employment in Washington state increased 3.2% and by 2,800 jobs

    In Seattle, restaurant workers lost 1,300 jobs from January to June – the largest drop since 2009.

    Prices have risen to cover the increased costs and in some restaurants, managers are telling customers not to tip as the higher wage and tips never reaches the back of the house. Servers and wait staff are angry that they are actually making less money in many cases.

    And then, of course, you have the fact that people making minimum wages are actually asking for less hours as they don’t want to get off of public assistance programs. I am sure you remember that one of the reasons to raise the minimum wage was to get people off of public assistance programs and that hasn’t happened.

    There is also the prediction from some economists that the increase in minimum wage will cost 7 million jobs nationwide.

    In short john, the “updates” show that everything Conservatives predicted would happen have happened and continue to move down the path that we said.

    On the other hand, nothing that you said would happen has happened.

    Oh, and btw, a new poll out shows that only 30% of people are happy with the ACA and the number one reason is a lack of flexibility in services and the diminishing of doctors in plans.

    (Just as we on the right said would happen.)

    And don’t forget that over half the states are looking at massive requests for increases from insurance companies.

    And one last thing john…

    Since you are a fan of regulations, there has only been one bank to open in the U.S. since 2010, when the Dodd-Frank law was passed and enacted. An average of more than 100 new banks a year opened in the three decades before Dodd-Frank.

    Bigger banks have gotten bigger, but the regulations have crushed the formation of smaller banks.

  4. Jeffery says:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/eriksherman/2015/08/13/is-higher-minimum-wage-killing-restaurant-jobs-uh-no/1/

    This article in Forbes debunks the intentionally misleading AEI “study” on the Seattle restaurant story.

    As the article points out, restaurant jobs shot up after San Francisco raised their minimum wage.

    It’s clear that the far-right American Enterprise Institute cherrypicked data to support their preconceived belief.

  5. Deserttrek says:

    give them more time to go to black lives don’t matter to black people riots

  6. gitarcarver says:

    This article in Forbes debunks the intentionally misleading AEI “study” on the Seattle restaurant story.

    Actually it doesn’t.

    The article says that there are different ways of viewing the data.

    Quoting his article:

    Again, it’s not that higher wages cannot possibly depress hiring. They might … or they might not. AEI and a number of outlets quoting the article essentially claimed that this proved higher wages would hurt at least restaurant workers.

    One must wonder why Jeffery has to lie about the article and it’s conclusions.

    Oh, wait….. Jeffery lies because that is what liars on the left do.

  7. Jeffery says:

    The dishonest AEI article claimed the minimum wage caused the job loss. Yes, it’s two ways of looking at the data – one honest and one dishonest. But, it’s the AEI, so…

    Why didn’t you cite the article you plagiarized?

    And gitarcarver continues his assault on the truth.

    Buh bye, you lying liar!

  8. gitarcarver says:

    The dishonest AEI article claimed the minimum wage caused the job loss. Yes, it’s two ways of looking at the data – one honest and one dishonest. But, it’s the AEI, so…

    Of course, the Forbes article does not say that the minimum wage hike was not the reason for the job loss.

    So why would you claim that it “debunked” the AEI position when it didn’t?

    Oh that’s right, you’re a liar and can’t handle facts that are contrary to your position.

    Why didn’t you cite the article you plagiarized?

    I never claimed it was my own writing or anything jeffery and you know it. So your charge or “plagiarism” is another one of false accusations to try and distract from your behavior.

    Buh bye, you lying liar!

    Caught in more lies, Jeffery runs away.

  9. Jeffery says:

    Stamp your feet all you want, little boy! The Forbes article said the AEI study was severely flawed and their conclusions were based on their flawed methods. Their is no credible evidence to support the AEI hypothesis that the modest increase in minimum wage caused job losses in Seattle. None. Nada. Zip. It’s not the job of scholars to prove what AEI couldn’t. Look up the meaning of debunked.

    And if you want to copy and paste large tracts of someone else’s writing without attribution that’s your choice. After all, it’s the internet. But don’t stamp your feet, little boy, and call others liars when you get caught. A good outcome would be that if you are trying to make a point/argument that is not original, that you cite the site where you obtained it. It’s just good scholarship and allows your hapless readers to check up on you. Look up the meaning of plagiarism.

    We all know why you didn’t want to reveal the source of your weak argument – it’s a far-right hack shop that serves to generate honest-sounding lies to circulate through the right-wing-o-sphere. It would be like trusting something out of the Heritage Foundation or Rush or The Blaze or Drudge. Look up the meaning of honesty.

    Buh-bye. I don’t wish to rassle in the mud with you. Your mind is a terrible thing to waste.

  10. Hank_M says:

    Jeffrey, you stated that the Forbes article “debunks the intentionally misleading AEI “study” on the Seattle restaurant story. As the article points out, restaurant jobs shot up after San Francisco raised their minimum wage.”

    That very same article also states that “we don’t know what caused shifts in employment, whether up or down.”

    And since you’re so keen on Forbes, another article http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2015/03/16/we-are-seeing-the-effects-of-seattles-15-an-hour-minimum-wage/ says this.

    “Human labor really is an economic good like pretty much all of the others. Raise the price and the demand for it will drop….less human labor will be employed at $15 an hour than would have been employed if the minimum wage had not risen to that amount. And for people who would like to have a job but now cannot find one that’s bad news.”

  11. gitarcarver says:

    Their is no credible evidence to support the AEI hypothesis that the modest increase in minimum wage caused job losses in Seattle..

    You are free to believe what you wnat Jeffery. You can lie to yourself as much as you want to lie to others.

    Of course, your disagreement is not with the study or what they posted, it is the source. The Forbes article you cited does not “debunk” the AEI study as you claimed. Caught in that lie, you decided to start attacking the source.

    This is typical of you. Without facts to back you up, you attack sources that don’t agree with you, passing your opinion of the sources as some sort of pronouncement that you are correct. It is a poor deflection on your part and one that you pull out whenever something goes against you.

    Look up the meaning of honesty.

    Take your own advice, Jeffery. You have shown an increasing desperation to lie and deceive since you started posting here. It is clear that you have no morals in your private life, your political life and your professional life.

    I would say that I pity your pathetic existence and the people with whom you come in contact, including your wife who you said was “delusional.”

    You’re a sad little man, Jeffery.

    Buh-bye. I don’t wish to rassle in the mud with you.

    Wait, I thought you were done before this post? Another lie from you, Jeffery?

    Go ahead and run away. Won’t bother me at all. It is one less liar in the conversation.

  12. Jeffery says:

    Hank,

    The difference between the two Forbes articles is that the debunking article uses evidence, not authority, to refute the AEI study, while the article you cite is that author’s opinion.

    There is no good evidence supporting the notion that the modest increase in Seattle’s minimum wage caused job loss.

    Make the argument. Show the evidence for critiquing.

    Conservatives and many whackjob liberals agree with findings that support their beliefs, regardless of evidence.

  13. Jeffery says:

    gc,

    I’m not running away. I’m just not engaging with you in your mud puddle.

    Buh bye.

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