Higher minimum wage causes Wendy's to have self-service ordering kiosks at its 6,000-plus restaurants, McDonald’s close behind
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.
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.”
It’s not surprising that some franchisees might face more of a labor-cost squeeze than company restaurants. All 258 Wendy’s restaurants in California, where the minimum wage rose to $10 an hour this year and will gradually rise to $15, are franchise-operated. Likewise, about 75% of 200-plus restaurants in New York are run by franchisees. New York’s fast-food industry wage rose to $10.50 in New York City and $9.75 in the rest of the state at the start of 2016, also on the way to $15. . . .Just a couple of months ago in March, Carl's Jr and Hardee's were talking about automating their restaurants.
But why be upset with Puzder? This is an inevitable consequence of massive minimum wage hikes by the government. Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s CEO Andy Puzder has people all in a huff over his idea to automate restaurants.
“I want to try it,” CEO Puzder told Business Insider. He’s looking at something “where you order on a kiosk, you pay with a credit or debit card, your order pops up, and you never see a person.”
Is he being heartless? No. Just responding to the government’s foolish plans to jack up the minimum wage and put restaurants, hotels, bars and other service industries out of business. “With government driving up the cost of labor, it’s driving down the number of jobs,” said Puzder. “You’re going to see automation not just in airports and grocery stores, but in restaurants.”