The left has been championing a $15 minimum wage for fast food workers for quite some time, not realizing that a higher minimum wage will cause fast food workers to lose their jobs to robots. Case in point: Wendy's.
The Associated Press reports that Wendy's has announced that they will be installing "self-ordering kiosks at about 1,000 locations by the end of the year" because they're cheaper and ease the burden of long lines.
"They are looking to improve their automation and their labor costs, and this is a good way to do it," Darren Tristano, vice president of the Technomic research firm, told the AP. "They are also trying to enhance the customer experience. Younger customers prefer to use a kiosk."
The move toward kiosks seems to be a trend among fast-food restaurants: (H/T: Forbes)
Earlier this month, McDonald’s announced the nationwide roll-out of touchscreen self-service kiosks. In a video the company released to showcase the new customer experience, it’s striking to see employees who once would have managed a cash register now reduced to monitoring a customer’s choices at an iPad-style kiosk.
It’s not just McDonald’s that has embraced job-replacing technology. Numerous restaurant chains (both quick service and full service) have looked to computer tablets as a solution for rising labor costs that won't adversely impact the customer’s experience. Eatsa, a fully-automated restaurant concept, now has five locations—all in cities or states that have embraced a $15 minimum wage. And in a scene stolen from The Jetsons, the Starship delivery robot is now navigating the streets of San Francisco with groceries and other consumer goods. The company’s founder pointed to a rising minimum wage as a key factor driving the growth of his automated delivery business.
As a whole, there were "at least 40 cities and states around the country" which had recent minimum wage hikes, per The Huffington Post, most of which were in the dark blue state of California. A number of cities and states will also reach the $15 minimum wage rate in the coming years.
And yet, the very workers that leftists claim to be helping are starting to be displaced by automation; it will only get worse as the minimum wage increases. Artificially raising the costs of labor has detrimental consequences for the economy.
Follow Aaron Bandler on Twitter @bandlersbanter.