Robots To Replace Fast Food Workers

heatlesssun

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Actually Carl's Jr.is one of the better fast food places (at least around here).
Although it did take years before I would eat at one after working there during college :)

The Hardee's around here are better than used to be but not my first choice for sure.
 

nutzo

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I feel you. Try going to Arby's and feed a few people, way too expensive for fast food imo

I used to go out for lunch 2-3 times a week, but with the higher prices, it's now maybe a couple times a month.
Bringing left overs or heating frozen dinners in the lunch room is much cheaper.
 

fadedlogic

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Well, fast food used to be a first job or a job to supplement your income, not a job to try to raise a family on. The current batch of "we demand a living wage" people have now taken those jobs from high school students and senior citizens so it seems like a natural chain of progression that robots are now taking the fast food jobs.

AFTER the robot uprising, all these robots will be complaining about a "living wage" after they have been put out of a job by the Matrix pods that feed us more efficiently through tubes.

THEN it will be the Matrix complaining about how advanced alien races put them out of a job....

An excellent point. We have already seen reduced hours and layoffs as a result of the increased minimum wage, increased prices, and poorer customer service. Another unintended consequence is fewer jobs for teens. Minimum wage jobs play an integral role in developing the necessary skills to prepare to hold a "real" job when you are older e.g. getting along/coping with a55hol3s, punctuality, humbleness, appreciation for the value of a dollar to name but a few. Entry level jobs are just that. I had to work 4 jobs to have a living wage upon graduating from college before finally landing a position that utilized my education. Those jobs helped me appreciate the value of hard work and empathy for my fellow humans that are on the grind.
 

nutzo

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The real funny part about that image is that you could google it and find the article where trump called mexicans "criminals"

9 Outrageous Things Donald Trump Has Said About Latinos

Trump honestly scares me. Clinton, as much as i hate her guts? I know where I stand with her and she is likely not going to start WW3. Trump is going to get us all screwed over.


Disagree with you there.

He didn't call all Mexicans criminals, just the ones who have came here illegally. And the fact that they have violated our immigration laws does make then criminals, even if some people don't want to use that term. Overall they are a net drain on our economy and taxes. There was a story last week, that based on the last census data, 87% of illegal immigrants with kids are receiving some form of welfare.

While I'm not a Trump supporter, as I don't know what he really believes vs what he says, at least there is a chance he might make some good decisions to fix our problems.
With Clinton there is zero chance anything will be fixed, just a continued decline of the middle class, bad foreign policy decisions, and more corruption to enrich the 1%.
 

Martinez

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Love it. Let them put their largest customer base out of work, their own employees.
 

pxc

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I don't think this will work. Robots can't possibly make as many mistakes human fast food employees do.
 

Darunion

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You know, screw robots. How about just a better fidelity drive through communication system?
 

Inacurate

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Can't wait until this happens.

Service jobs, with rare exception, should not be a thing. My definition of that is unskilled labor.

I can't speak to the effect it would have on our economy or other adjacent sectors, but I can't wait until my 'hamburger, no pickles' is served to me properly! And if the price goes up, not that big of a deal I'll just stop eating there, which I almost do anyway.

When proportions from a fast food joint are almost the same as from Five Guys in terms of cost, there's a discrepancy somewhere!
 

amddragonpc

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Putting people out of work with automation is such a bad idea. Robots don't pay taxes; people do, which brings me to why some politicians are trumpeting raising minimum wage. It guarantees to the government more taxes because these people who go from $8 to $15 per hour are going to move into a higher tax bracket.
 

viscountalpha

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Disagree with you there.

He didn't call all Mexicans criminals, just the ones who have came here illegally. And the fact that they have violated our immigration laws does make then criminals, even if some people don't want to use that term. Overall they are a net drain on our economy and taxes. There was a story last week, that based on the last census data, 87% of illegal immigrants with kids are receiving some form of welfare.

While I'm not a Trump supporter, as I don't know what he really believes vs what he says, at least there is a chance he might make some good decisions to fix our problems.
With Clinton there is zero chance anything will be fixed, just a continued decline of the middle class, bad foreign policy decisions, and more corruption to enrich the 1%.


My point was that he is a terrible diplomat. It didn't need to be said. Yes illegals are an issue but you don't make inflammatory comments on national TV. The fact that we have the evils of two lessers pushes me towards the dooms day prep.
 

Uvaman2

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Wages need to raise, otherwise capitalism will become another failed experiment. In truth wage inflation should happen normally in a healthy reasonable capitalist system... That is not what we have. Been expecting fast food 'restaurants' to become automated for a long time. Their so called food is frozen garbage perfectly suited for automation. The reason they might have not done it is fear of the perception, and the bloodbath they are going to get from competition.. You can just see the ads. The argument that they may do it now because wages might go up is absolute bullshit. This been feasable and probably cost effective for decades. Shit, their food is so pre everything humans are almost for decorative purposes... Press a button here, feed the patty there, do nothing else.
 

Dr. Righteous

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This is the end results of those fast food workers and obama wanting to give them 15$ an hour. Robot's gonna replace their butt's to save on costs.

Been saying this for a few years now. They can't make the food any more expensive, they are not going to pay "off the street" workers any more. The only alternative is to automate and cut the work force at the stores.
NOW, we are seeing it start to happen. Soon when you got to a fast food joint you will queue up behind a kiosk and touch screen your order in; swipe your card, take your ticket and go sit and wait. You go get your order when it is ready.
They can cut the number of workers to 6 to 3. Cooks, and a manager. You will only see an employee when someone comes out front to clean up the mess you leave.
 

Draax

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It is naïve to pretend that fast food places cannot afford to pay their workers better wages. Not one of the top 20 fast food chains, in America, did under 3 billion in sales last year. Using McDonalds as an example: 120+ USD a share, paid 3$+ dividend a share in 2013, its revenue between 2008-2014 was more than 153 billion. This however was not enough and McDonalds decided to employ temporary foreign workers in order to boost profits. These fast food joints are more than capable of paying their workers a decent wage .... they just have decided not to. Today, profit (pleasing shareholders) > everything. Why people choose to be a proponent of this demonstrably failed opportunistic capitalist experiment is beyond me. The world will be much better off when, or I guess if, we ever get to the point where "The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in our lives".
 

tetris42

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So much FUD. ALL THE JOBS VANISHING

If my job gets automated, ill go find another one that can't be automated...I am not afraid to compete with machines or people. When they day comes we cant compete with machines at all, they will get rid of us anyways.
You talk about FUD, then talk about machines getting rid of us. o_O

Let's get real for a second. Robots aren't going to replace ALL jobs, they'll just replace a LOT of jobs, to the point where there aren't enough new opportunities to fill in the gaps. So what you'll have is more people looking for work than there are jobs, with that number increasing year after year. You don't have to lose ALL jobs to have major, major problems long before that.
 
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It is naïve to pretend that fast food places cannot afford to pay their workers better wages. Not one of the top 20 fast food chains, in America, did under 3 billion in sales last year. Using McDonalds as an example: 120+ USD a share, paid 3$+ dividend a share in 2013, its revenue between 2008-2014 was more than 153 billion. This however was not enough and McDonalds decided to employ temporary foreign workers in order to boost profits. These fast food joints are more than capable of paying their workers a decent wage .... they just have decided not to. Today, profit (pleasing shareholders) > everything. Why people choose to be a proponent of this demonstrably failed opportunistic capitalist experiment is beyond me. The world will be much better off when, or I guess if, we ever get to the point where "The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in our lives".
Just out of curiosity, do you know for example, McDonald's operating expenses vs. gross sales vs. net profit? I'd like to see the validity of either side of this debate's case.
 

Ducman69

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Just out of curiosity, do you know for example, McDonald's operating expenses vs. gross sales vs. net profit? I'd like to see the validity of either side of this debate's case.
Its moot regardless though, as all that matters is: Can you get a more consistent and positive consumer experience through automation at the same or lower cost? The nice thing about automation too, is that it gives you a bit more certainty in your investment as robots aren't bound to unionize any time soon or have their wages doubled through government mandate, allowing you to keep less fluid currency on hand.

Its the same reason airlines would rather pay more to guarantee fuel at a fixed cost in order to budget for the year, than buy at current market prices throughout the year.
 

Zigmorph

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McDonalds and the like are on their way out slowly but surly for better (IMO) eateries such as 5 guys, In & out Burger and shake shack. The sooner the better if you ask me. "Fast" food is a fad that needed to die much sooner if you ask me. My .02, flame on!
 

Dekoth-E-

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McDonalds and the like are on their way out slowly but surly for better (IMO) eateries such as 5 guys, In & out Burger and shake shack. The sooner the better if you ask me. "Fast" food is a fad that needed to die much sooner if you ask me. My .02, flame on!

You seem to be rather confused if you think automation is going to kill fast food and make places like 5 guys more popular. If anything it is going to be what allows fast food to increase their profit margins even more and make it even more difficult for places like 5 guys to compete. When food gets cheap enough, people don't care nearly enough about quality.
 

Monkey God

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You talk about FUD, then talk about machines getting rid of us. o_O

Let's get real for a second. Robots aren't going to replace ALL jobs, they'll just replace a LOT of jobs, to the point where there aren't enough new opportunities to fill in the gaps. So what you'll have is more people looking for work than there are jobs, with that number increasing year after year. You don't have to lose ALL jobs to have major, major problems long before that.

95% of the population used to be farmers and animal herders. Humans adapt, its what we do.
 

HardUp4HardWare

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There is a McD's near me that I go to once in a long while.
I stopped going there a few years ago because the person taking my order was a fat greasy looking woman with open sores on her arms and some kind of dry skin condition that meant she was shedding everywhere.
Went there a while ago and who is there? Same woman. sores and all. Gross.

Bring in the robots I am ready.
 

Skripka

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95% of the population used to be farmers and animal herders. Humans adapt, its what we do.

How do you "adapt" to machines that do you job cheaper, faster, and more efficiently, and will happily work 24/7 without expecting a paycheck?

You make like the horse when the Model T came around. You become unemployable. That is about it.
 

Zigmorph

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Oh no conus
You seem to be rather confused if you think automation is going to kill fast food and make places like 5 guys more popular. If anything it is going to be what allows fast food to increase their profit margins even more and make it even more difficult for places like 5 guys to compete. When food gets cheap enough, people don't care nearly enough about quality.
No confusion here. Automation won't kill it. I never claimed it would. It will just be another step towards ending this silly fast food fad that should have died 20 years ago. I think in general, folks are moving away from this kind of "fast" food. It's not cheap either. We're slowly starting to reach price parity with local eateries, in my area of course. Last I looked a "value" meal was creeping towards $10.00 before tax. Look, there will always be a market for the value/dollar menu, I get it, but beyond the cheap menu there's just no point anymore. Let the robots sling $2 cheese burgers. I can't wait. Fast food will die on it's own, automated or not.
 

Monkey God

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How do you "adapt" to machines that do you job cheaper, faster, and more efficiently, and will happily work 24/7 without expecting a paycheck?

You make like the horse when the Model T came around. You become unemployable. That is about it.

You change careers. Humans are not horses. Well, some humans anyways. If you can't adapt, thats on you.
 

Zigmorph

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You change careers. Humans are not horses. Well, some humans anyways. If you can't adapt, thats on you.

To build on this, abstractly of course, I think automation will be a good thing in the long run. It will pave the way for better paying, albeit fewer, jobs within these establishments as maintenance workers and such. Fixing burger bots might just be something that pays well.
 

Skripka

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You change careers. Humans are not horses. Well, some humans anyways. If you can't adapt, thats on you.

Careers are going bye-bye one by one as there are too few jobs left and too many people. Also, given that most living-wage job openings these days demand a 4-year specialist degree in the employment field to even be considered and have your resume read...."changing careers" and "adapting" is a very empty unrealistic talking point.


Eventually the USA system will collapse, and soon. It doesn't take astounding numbers of unemployable people to wreck an economy. The Great Depression was "only" 10-20% unemployment, depending on who you read. Drivers (delivery, long haul trucking, and bus) and fastfood workers alone net about 7,000,000 jobs in the USA.

We have a consumer economy, but CEOs somehow expect a consumer economy to exist when there are few jobs or employees.

To build on this, abstractly of course, I think automation will be a good thing in the long run. It will pave the way for better paying, albeit fewer, jobs within these establishments as maintenance workers and such. Fixing burger bots might just be something that pays well.

Because McDonald's needs 400,000+ burger bot fixers?

If you think it paves the way for fewer better paying jobs...you need laughed at. Severely.
 

Monkey God

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Careers are going bye-bye one by one as there are too few jobs left and too many people. Also, given that most living-wage job openings these days demand a 4-year specialist degree to even be considered...."changing careers" and "adapting" is a very empty unrealistic talking point.
Yeah, life is terrible. Why haven't you killed yourself yet? Or go live in a third-world country and tell us how bad it is here again in the US.

Eventually the USA system will collapse, and soon. It doesn't take astounding numbers of unemployable people to wreck an economy. The Great Depression was "only" 10-20% unemployment, depending on who you read. Drivers (delivery, long haul trucking, and bus) and fastfood workers alone net about 7,000,000 jobs in the USA.

We have a consumer economy, but CEOs somehow expect a consumer economy to exist when there are few jobs or employees.
You a Marxist or something? Its not going to collapse. Put away the tin-foil hat.
 

Zigmorph

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Because McDonald's needs 400,000+ burger bot fixers?

If you think it paves the way for fewer better paying jobs...you need laughed at. Severely.

They will need higher skilled maintenance folks to keep everything going, which I would like to assume would pay more than your average fast food position pays now. They might not need 400,000 but they WILL be needed. The machines can't fix them selves... yet...
 

Skripka

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Yeah, life is terrible. Why haven't you killed yourself yet? Or go live in a third-world country and tell us how bad it is here again in the US.


You a Marxist or something? Its not going to collapse. Put away the tin-foil hat.

If you can't see the cliff coming, then there's no point going further. Seriously, it is basic 2nd grade level cause and effect.

You quit employing people by automating the jobs away into oblivion or sending them to China/Vietnam/India....consumers quit having money to consume, and the whole thing comes tumbling down. Do you honestly believe retailers ALWAYS needed to offer lines of credit to buy a microwave? How long have interest rates been dropped to nearly zero to try and get people to spend money they don't have on things? Then there's the tertiary effects of that banking crisis wiping out people's retirement funds, resulting in otherwise retirees holding onto jobs as long as they can.

You can deny being sick all you want...but that doesn't change the fact you're coughing up blood.

They will need higher skilled maintenance folks to keep everything going, which I would like to assume would pay more than your average fast food position pays now. They might not need 400,000 but they WILL be needed. The machines can't fix them selves... yet...

How many people are employed fixing paperclip making machines? Not a whole lot.
 
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Zigmorph

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If you can't see the cliff coming, then there's no point going further. Seriously, it is basic 2nd grade level cause and effect.

You quit employing people by automating the jobs away into oblivion or sending them to China/Vietnam/India....consumers quit having money to consume, and the whole thing comes tumbling down. Do you honestly believe retailers ALWAYS needed to offer lines of credit to buy a microwave? How long have interest rates been dropped to nearly zero to try and get people to spend money they don't have on things? Then there's the tertiary effects of that banking crisis wiping out people's retirement funds, resulting in otherwise retirees holding onto jobs as long as they can.

You can deny being sick all you want...but that doesn't change the fact you're coughing up blood.



How many people are employed fixing paperclip making machines? Not a whole lot.

While I don't completely disagree with your first point, I would say that there are many more fast food restaurants than paperclip factories. Just a guess though.
 

Monkey God

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You can deny being sick all you want...but that doesn't change the fact you're coughing up blood.

The problem is with you negative nancy types is you think every time you get sick you're going to die. Sickness <> death.
Less consumerism is a good thing. Americans being tighter with money and getting rid of debt is a good thing.

Its not the end. Things go up and the go down and they go up and they go down. Big wheel keeps on turning and all that. Its just a ride. Stop trying to make everyone else as negative as you are.
 

Dekoth-E-

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Oh no conus

No confusion here. Automation won't kill it. I never claimed it would. It will just be another step towards ending this silly fast food fad that should have died 20 years ago. I think in general, folks are moving away from this kind of "fast" food. It's not cheap either. We're slowly starting to reach price parity with local eateries, in my area of course. Last I looked a "value" meal was creeping towards $10.00 before tax. Look, there will always be a market for the value/dollar menu, I get it, but beyond the cheap menu there's just no point anymore. Let the robots sling $2 cheese burgers. I can't wait. Fast food will die on it's own, automated or not.

I don't know where you live but it doesn't even come close to price parity where I am nor anywhere I've been.

Using the two big examples of 5 guys vs McD's since I love me some 5 guys.

1/4lb burger meal for comparison since the typical 5 guys is pretty close to about the same, possibly a 1/3lb patty.

McDonald's

Quarter pounder with cheese meal with large fry and drink.
$7.58 according to the website, which obviously varies some as I know in my local area it is closer to $6.50.

5 Guys
Cheese Burger - $6.29
Large Fry - $4.69
Large drink - $2.39
and let's not forget they print receipts asking for tips, not going to add but just saying.
Total $13.37 before tax.

That is almost Double the cost. Is 5 guys better? Absolutely! and is the portion they give you probably a little bigger since it is impossible to compare apples to apples? Most certainly. However most people aren't going to break it down like that and the fact of the matter is you can easily feed a family of 4 at McDonald's for under $25 where you can't get two people out of 5 guys for that. So no, the prices aren't even remotely close enough to argue that fast food is going to die to this. The people who are going to go to McDonald's aren't looking at it from a quality perspective, it is a "good enough" perspective. I absolutely prefer 5 guys all day long over McD's. However sometimes the family wants a burger and fries and spending $35+ just isn't in the budget or sometimes it is just plain faster for something that tastes decent.
 

Skripka

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The problem is with you negative nancy types is you think every time you get sick you're going to die. Sickness <> death.
Less consumerism is a good thing. Americans being tighter with money and getting rid of debt is a good thing.

Its not the end. Things go up and the go down and they go up and they go down. Big wheel keeps on turning and all that. Its just a ride. Stop trying to make everyone else as negative as you are.

Except...it isn't, not really.

Our country runs on materialism and consumerism. Now moreso than ever. Most jobs in the USA now are service or retail oriented. Because most all the manufacturing and factory work is gone either overseas or to robots. When people aren't spending money, the need for service and retail workers go down...which puts more people out of work and results in stagnation or cuts to wages. And now the service and retail jobs are going away, simply because McDonald's and the like want even higher amounts of revenue for the Board and shareholders.

And people aren't getting rid of debt. Most people are up to their eyeballs in it. Most people "need" a fist full of credit cards to buy appliances or cars or houses...hell simply getting an education to maybe start a career (remember without a 4-year specialist degree you might as well not even apply) requires mind-numbing amounts of debt.
 
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Zigmorph

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5 Guys
Cheese Burger - $6.29
Large Fry - $4.69
Large drink - $2.39
and let's not forget they print receipts asking for tips, not going to add but just saying.
Total $13.37 before tax.

That is almost Double the cost. Is 5 guys better? Absolutely! and is the portion they give you probably a little bigger since it is impossible to compare apples to apples? Most certainly. However most people aren't going to break it down like that and the fact of the matter is you can easily feed a family of 4 at McDonald's for under $25 where you can't get two people out of 5 guys for that. So no, the prices aren't even remotely close enough to argue that fast food is going to die to this. The people who are going to go to McDonald's aren't looking at it from a quality perspective, it is a "good enough" perspective. I absolutely prefer 5 guys all day long over McD's. However sometimes the family wants a burger and fries and spending $35+ just isn't in the budget or sometimes it is just plain faster for something that tastes decent.

Well I did say "slowly reaching" :) But to be fair, That $6.29 Burger is a double, that large fry is Yuuuuge and your spot on with the drink. We're not comparing apples to apples here though. I think the "little" burger and regular fries and large drink @ $8.77 is closer to the amount of food from that Mc D meal. That's close enough IMO. But we're splitting hairs here. I'd like to think folks aren't feeding a family of 4 either one of these options on the regular.
 

Ducman69

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Well I did say "slowly reaching" :) But to be fair, That $6.29 Burger is a double, that large fry is Yuuuuge and your spot on with the drink. We're not comparing apples to apples here though. I think the "little" burger and regular fries and large drink @ $8.77 is closer to the amount of food from that Mc D meal. That's close enough IMO. But we're splitting hairs here. I'd like to think folks aren't feeding a family of 4 either one of these options on the regular.
Hate to go off on a tangent, but if you look at the calories in your average burger, fries, and soda meal... people really should be splitting up those meals. Its like people who order a footlong cold cut trio at Subway, and then you realize that they aren't taking it home to cut into four pieces and share, but rather they are deepthroating the entire twelve inches shamelessly by themselves in the back of the restaurant, interrupted only by brief choking episodes they remedy by washing it down with prodigious amounts of high fructose corn syrup liquids.

To get a bit back ON topic though, if you remove the human from the equation and heavily automate the process, then you can afford to sell smaller portions at smaller dollar amounts, so the consumer still gets the best bang for their buck, as no longer does the transaction itself (human time taking the order and preparing the food) count for a significant portion of the total expense.

TL;DR: A "vending machine" style McDonalds/Wendy's/BurgerKing could actually make fast food faster and healthier, while costing the same per calorie without reducing profits.
 

lcpiper

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Putting people out of work with automation is such a bad idea. Robots don't pay taxes; people do, which brings me to why some politicians are trumpeting raising minimum wage. It guarantees to the government more taxes because these people who go from $8 to $15 per hour are going to move into a higher tax bracket.


I thought the standard angle here was that it actually frees that labor up for better things. What I have come to realize is that a great number of people do not want to do better things, and actually don't want to do any things at all.

Maybe robots are the way forward. Free humans to compete, and let those who fail, fail and be forgotten.

Too much flotsam, too much detritus.
 

lcpiper

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Hate to go off on a tangent, but if you look at the calories in your average burger, fries, and soda meal... people really should be splitting up those meals. Its like people who order a footlong cold cut trio at Subway, and then you realize that they aren't taking it home to cut into four pieces and share, but rather they are deepthroating the entire twelve inches shamelessly by themselves in the back of the restaurant, interrupted only by brief choking episodes they remedy by washing it down with prodigious amounts of high fructose corn syrup liquids.

To get a bit back ON topic though, if you remove the human from the equation and heavily automate the process, then you can afford to sell smaller portions at smaller dollar amounts, so the consumer still gets the best bang for their buck, as no longer does the transaction itself (human time taking the order and preparing the food) count for a significant portion of the total expense.

TL;DR: A "vending machine" style McDonalds/Wendy's/BurgerKing could actually make fast food faster and healthier, while costing the same per calorie without reducing profits.


Better hope that robot can identify spoiled produce and those little squiggly white wormy things that all restaurants get.
 

Staples

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I am sure an employee that costs $5 an hour is more expensive than these robots.

Lets drop the minimum wage and when machines get even more efficient, everyone can work for $1.50 an hour.

Everyone is saying that fast food is an entry level job and unskilled and it is but waiters make a ton of money off this stupid tipping system and I don't see anyone but me complaining about these guys making tons of money for a third the work the cooks are doing.

Anyway, there are NOT that many jobs anymore. Not everyone can just go out and get a higher paying job.
 
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