Honestly, I haven’t eaten a fast-food burger in years and years. I prefer good burgers. But it seems the fast-food burger industry is in the news again. Remember those folks still “fighting for $15??” Meet the inevitable result: The burger-bot. Excerpt:
As fast food employees across the U.S. continue to protest for higher wages, a California chain restaurant has decided to hire a new staff member that works for free. The competition for the company’s low-wage workers: a burger-flipping robot named “Flippy.”
CaliBurger has announced they will be installing the high-tech replacement in 50 of their locations around the world. “Flippy,” the robotic kitchen assistant, was created by a California startup company called Miso Robotics and is expected to roll out in 2018.
“We are excited about the impact Miso’s AI-based solutions will have for the restaurant industry,” Miso’s David Zito said. The CEO added that their creation will likely push workers out of their current jobs.
“Humans will always play a very critical role in the hospitality side of the business… We just don’t know what the new roles will be yet in the industry.”
Note: When Mr. Zito says “We just don’t know what the new roles will be yet in the industry,” he fails to add “…but there will be fewer of them.”
This, True Believers, is the inevitable consequence of setting an artificial wage floor in the economy. Not only do you price the low-skilled right out of the market, you price some existing semi-skilled workers – like fast-food workers – out as well.
And let’s be honest about one thing at least – if you are trying to support a family on the minimum wage, you need to take a long, hard serious look at your life choices.