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Minimum wage hike? How about NO wages at all as Wendy’s becomes first major investment in robots

(NationalSentinel) Labor: Left-wing Marxists who have been stumping for major increases in mandatory minimum wages are not doing their supporters any favors as more companies turn to non-human alternatives.

Those hardest hit will be low-skilled entry level jobs for the youngest of American workers. In fact, the damage is already occurring. Fast-food chain Wendy’s announced this week it will install ordering kiosks in 1,000 stores, or 16 percent of its locations worldwide.

“Last year was tough — 5 percent wage inflation,” said Bob Wright, Wendy’s chief operating officer, during his presentation to investors and analysts last week. He added that the company expects wages to rise 4 percent in 2017. “But the real question is what are we doing about it?”

Wright noted that over the past two years, Wendy’s has figured out how to eliminate 31 hours of labor per week from its restaurants and is now working to use technology, such as kiosks, to increase efficiency.

As noted by Zero Hedge:

Wendy’s chief information officer, David Trimm, said the kiosks are intended to appeal to younger customers and reduce labor costs. Kiosks also allow customers of the fast food giant to circumvent long lines during peak dining hours while increasing kitchen production.

The Columbus Dispatch adds:

“There is a huge amount of pull from (franchisees) in order to get them,” David Trimm, Wendy’s chief information officer, said last week during the company’s investors’ day.

“With the demand we are seeing … we can absolutely see our way to having 1,000 or more restaurants live with kiosks by the end of the year.”

A typical store would get three kiosks for about $15,000. Trimm estimated the payback on those machines would be less than two years, thanks to labor savings and increased sales. Customers still could order at the counter.

Kiosks are where the industry is headed, but Wendy’s is ahead of the curve, said Darren Tristano, vice president with Technomic, a food-service research and consulting firm.

“They are looking to improve their automation and their labor costs, and this is a good way to do it,” he said.

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As rational economists have long said, government-imposed mandatory wages on businesses leads to more unemployment and, hence, less overall financial gain, as this example once again proves. While there may be “social justice success stories”here and there, in general imposing minimum wages – like $15 an hour on industries like fast food, which have thin profit margins already – will inspire business owners to invest in technologies aimed at replacing labor.

And robots/machines don’t strike, bitch about hours, call in sick, bring drama to work or complain.

© 2017 USA Features Media

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