Replacing Cashiers With Robots "Just Makes Sense" Jack-in-the-Box CEO

As minimum wages rise, so does the push to get rid of workers.

Leonard Comma, CEO of Jack-in-the-Box says the company is considering swapping some cashiers for self-ordering kiosks . "It just makes sense to consider replacing cashiers with machines as minimum wages rise," said Comma.

Jack in the Box previously tested technology such as kiosks. According to Comma, the kiosks resulted in a higher average check and helped with efficiency. But at the time Comma said the cost of installing the kiosks wasn't worth it.

Jack in the Box isn't the only fast-food chain that has considered using automation to reduce labor costs and modernize.

Wendy's announced plans to install self-ordering kiosks within a year. McDonald's is adding kiosks to 2,500 stores, though it pledged not to replace cashiers with kiosks.

"With government driving up the cost of labor, it's driving down the number of jobs," then Carl's Jr. and Hardee's CEO Andy Puzder told Business Insider in 2016. "You're going to see automation not just in airports and grocery stores, but in restaurants."

You can have $15. But it will be at the expense of hours and jobs.

Pizza Hut Delivery Vehicle

Does anyone think this thing will fly?

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (62)
No. 1-25
stillCJ
stillCJ

Editor

Toyota food vending machine on wheels? I just lost my appetite.

Taunton
Taunton

Good. This is how productivity gains work. Perhaps we can focus on using humans for jobs that only humans can do? I haven't met a single person who's job was replaced by kiosks... the workers are still there, they just do different things like delivering food and what have you. My experience is that this (automation) is actually a good thing. Long story short, if your business model depends on paying workers starvation wages, such that your employees need public assistance, you shouldn't be in business. End of story. THAT is pawning your labor expenses on the government and therefore taxpayers and bondholders (and therefore future taxpayers) and that's nothing but corporate/business welfare. It's still welfare, and while it's tempting to think of those "greedy" minimum wage workers "mooching" off Uncle Sam, the truth is that companies are simply pawning off their labor on government.

if these jobs are so worthless that it's not worth a living wage, perhaps we can find jobs that are actually worth a livable wage. Or, we can create an economic system that doesn't funnel all the wealth to the top. Because that's why wages are depressed, that's why small businesses are getting crushed, and that's why it seems that rent is always out of reach of wages. Pure monetary distortion sending all the wealth to the non productive (unearned income, investor) class instead of the productive (working, managing, earned income) class. We need more doctors, nurses, teachers, electricians, mechanics, etc... but what we don't need any more of are professional investors, hedge fund managers, stock brokers, etc... They don't add DICK to the economy. They just take. In a proper monetary/financial system their role would be as glamorous as a custodian and would earn about as much as well.

Oh well, one can dream.

FelixMish
FelixMish

Taunton, like you, I'm uncomfortable with the idea of businesses "pawning off ... labor expenses on the ... taxpayers". But I'm also uncomfortable with another viewpoint on the same thing: Taxpayers competing with businesses for hiring low-wage workers. The latter seems worse, though both viewpoints are of the same thing, presented differently. <p> With "businesses "pawning off", people are working - being productive - doing something respectable for someone. With taxpayers competing, people are being paid to be warm bodies, aren't they? <p> Absent taxpayer competition, I'd expect low-end wages to go up and automation to kick in underneath those wages, where appropriate. So. Same result, but more honest, transparent, sustainable, and efficient.

Sechel
Sechel

i woudn't mind so much if consumers benefited from the lower costs , but prices don't seem to come down from such technological advances.

Taunton
Taunton

@felixmish You're delusional if you think anybody's competing with anybody over laborers. Right now we have a huge OVERSUPPLY of labor -- if there wasn't, why aren't wages skyrocketing?

I'm not xpecting anybody to pay starvation wages, Felix. I'm saying a permanent end to the non-livable wage. If you can't afford to hire people at a living wage, you do NOT deserve to stay in business. I don't care who is doing the paying. Bottom line is supply and demand. There is a huge supply of labor, a huge supply of capital, and the only reason that capital is because our system makes hoarding of wealth possible, and the non-productive classes (investors, rent-seekers, etc) have decided it's better to buy back stocks and do LBO's than invest in productive capacity.

The system is fucking broke, dude. I don't know where your argument is going, nor do I know how it relates to my reply, but I will say your entire premise is based on a faulty assumption, which is that their is somehow a shortage of labor, which is ridiculous. Roughly 1.5% nominal wage growth per annum suggests a labor glut, not shortage. Long story short, nobody is competing with anybody for labor.