“May I have my check, please?” I smiled as I asked the server at the restaurant.
“Here ya go,” she replied cheerfully as she pushed a small computer screen across the table. “Just slide your card and you’re done. Oh and please don’t forget the tip.”
I checked out at the table and printed my receipt as she walked by again.
“Excuse me,” I said to get her attention.
“I don’t mean to be so straightforward with you, but are you thinking about what’s next?” I asked.
“What do you mean?”
“Well seems to me that as soon as they figure out how a machine can do your job – you won’t have one anymore.”
“I know – right?” she said with a slight giggle and walked away.
The push to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour is really a push to $0. Machines are replacing humans in job after job as AI is getting better, and MUCH less expensive than humans.
Wendy’s just announced they will be making automated kiosks available to all 6,000 plus stores by the second half of the year in response to the push to $15 per hour. This comes on the heals of McDonalds, Carl’s, Jr., Hardees, and Olive Garden doing the same. Read more here.
As the CEO of Carls, Jr/Hardees, Andy Puzdner put it, “Kiosks are always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there’s never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race discrimination case,” He continued, “Millennials would rather deal with a computer than a person. I have watched lines form behind them, while people stand ready to take orders. If you’re making the cost of labor more expensive – and the cost of automation less expensive, this is not rocket science.”
No sir, it is not.
What it is is simple economics. Businesses have to turn a profit to stay in business.
So the actual result of the push for a $15 per hour minimum wage results in more people receiving $0 per hour.
“I know – right?”