As food and labor costs rise in the restaurant industry, some businesses are looking for technological solutions to the annoying problem of expensive humans.
A $15-per-hour minimum wage might not lead to armies of content, sufficiently compensated fast food workers. It may instead lead to fewer employees, as bottom-line-obsessed companies move more quickly to replace "expensive" labor with tireless robots. And rising labor costs aren’t the only things getting more expensive for restaurants—wholesale food and real estate prices are also shooting up, says the Washington Post.
The easiest step that restaurant owners might take is to eliminate the front-of-house staff in a fast-food restaurant. Why pay somebody to take an order when your customers can punch it into a public terminal on their own? (They've already started tricking you into doing this work for them at self-checkouts in supermarkets and drug stores.) And as we pay for more goods and services with things like Apple Pay, the whole order, including payment, could be made from the customer’s own smartphone....
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