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Wendy's to Install 1,000 Self-Ordering Kiosks

Wendy's to Install 1,000 Self-Ordering Kiosks

With the impending minimum wage increases, quick-serve restaurants are looking for innovative ways to cut corners. Enter self-ordering kiosks. 

Wendy’s is the latest fast food chain to announce its implementation of these kiosks. 1,000 of Wendy’s franchise stores will be installing these technologies in order to cut labor costs. 

According to The Columbus Dispatch, the typical store will have at least three kiosks and the brand is focusing on high-volume locations.

David Trimm, the chief information officer at the Ohio-based fast food chain, believes that the kiosks reduce the store’s labor costs, but also that they will increase sales with the younger generation. 

“They are also trying to enhance the customer experience. Younger customers prefer to use a kiosk,” said Trimm. He also mentioned that they will help alleviate the long lines during peak hours. 

Another perk of the kiosk rollout for the franchisees is that they aren’t responsible for installation. 

“They are looking to improve their automation and their labor costs, and this is a good way to do it,” said Darren Tristano, vice president at Technomic, a food-service research and consulting firm. “This move puts them at the forefront of the kiosk and tech movement.”

The chain will also be collecting valuable data from these machines. 
Wendy’s has already been testing these machines at several Ohio stores. 
The bad news is that this evidently means less jobs and hours for current employees. 
Restaurant businesses already have low profit margins. Most restaurant operators spend 33% of their revenue on employees’ wages. Not to mention, franchisees give a percentage of the store’s income to the corporate brand. So it’s not surprising that they are in support of ways to increase profits. 

Then with the increases in minimum wage, operators have no choice but to find someway to cut labor costs. 

“With government driving up the cost of labor, it’s driving down the number of jobs,” said Andy Puzder, Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s CEO. “You’re going to see automation not just in airports and grocery stores, but in restaurants.”

Not only are these kiosks proving to be more cost effective than employees, they are more reliable. Kiosks won’t call out of work. 

Again, this isn’t good news for the employees, many of which who support minimum wage increases. Many worker don’t realize what these spikes really mean for them. 

“Wherever cities implemented big minimum-wage hikes to $10 an hour or more last year, the latest data through December show that job creation downshifted to the slowest pace in at least five years,” wrote Investor’s Busines Daily’s Jed Graham.

Author’s note: Honestly, it’s really ironic. Many of the liberals backing policies that spike the minimum wage, will find out the hard way that this will only hurt workers not help them. Not only will operators look for ways to cut their hours and reduce the number of staff on their payroll, but this is encouraging the industry as a whole to move to automation. Is the fight for the increase in minimum wage really worth it if the employee ultimately gets replaced?

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