Wendy’s to Replace All Workers With Machines

Wendy’s plans to install self-service ordering kiosks at its restaurants, Fox 32 reports.

The move is in response to growing labor costs associated with rising minimum wages. Both California and New York are expected to raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour over the next few years.

Wendy’s, the nation’s third largest fast-food company, says it will start installing the kiosks this year. Initially, the kiosks will appear in company-owned restaurants, but franchise owners have the option of investing in them as well.

Franchisees own the majority of the country’s 6,000 Wendy’s. According to the company, labor costs have risen 5-6% in the past year, partly due to higher labor costs.

“We’ll continue to invest in technology, with things in the front of the house, consumer facing, like customer self-order kiosks, mobile-order, mobile-pay,” said President Todd Penegor. “And as we’ve talked in the past, we’ll continue to invest in the back of the house, where we can take out non-consumer facing labor around things like temperature controls and checking, scheduling and the like.”

Other companies are also taking a closer look at the cost-saving alternative. White Castle says it may turn to robots instead of workers. McDonald’s has also tested ordering kiosk at a Manhattan location.

The “Fight for 15” is very real. Are you at all surprised at fast-food chains decision to opt for machines instead of people to serve its clientele?

Sound off in the comments.