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Thread: The End of Fast Food Employees?

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    Veteran Member Southern Dad's Avatar
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    The End of Fast Food Employees?

    We talked about Flippy the robot burger maker back in March. We've recently had a thread about McDonald's going to kiosks in the near future for ordering and payment. Yesterday, CNBC had a story about Miso Robotics, the inventor of Flippy and CaliBurger. A few key takeaways from the article, Yum Brands CEO, for those that do not know Yum brands is Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Wing Street in the USA, but the CEO said that he predicted robots would replace fast food worker by the mid-2020s. CaliBurger is rolling these out starting with Los Angeles CaliBurger in the first quarter of 2018. Here are a couple quotes from the article.

    Miso is part of a budding kitchen automation industry. Its peers include Zume Pizza, Cafe X, Makr Shakr, Frobot and Sally, which are developing robots to help commercial kitchens churn out pizzas, lattes, cocktails, frozen yogurt, and salads.
    "We take into account all of our customers' needs for everything from food safety to maximum uptime," he said. "Today our software allows robots to work at a grill, doing some of the nasty and dangerous work that people don't want to do all day. But these systems can be adapted so that robots can work, say, standing in front of a fryer or chopping onions. These are all areas of high turnover, especially for quick service restaurants."
    What does this mean for the industry's 2.3 million cooks?

    "Like the electronic spreadsheet did for accountants, this will cause the jobs to go elsewhere," Stewart said. "But there will be new hospitality and culinary jobs we have yet to imagine. And those will be jobs where people will get paid a higher wage, and where they'll want to stay long-term."

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    ~ The loyal opposition ~ Puzzling Evidence's Avatar
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    I worked briefly at a Royal Farms. We couldn't fire anyone because we were so desperate for employees. It was horrible. If they went to automation, i would go back, but not if i had to work with a bunch of lazy, half-witted cattle. No one really wants these jobs.
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    Veteran Member bajisima's Avatar
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    Not sure if they will replace all fast food workers or retail, but I bet a lot fewer will work in the future. Computers have finally reached the point where they are powerful and small which is what most have waited for. Saw a documentary a year or so ago on the Japanese and oh boy they really look like they almost want to replace humans! They are more into human like robots and such so I imagine they will be pushing hard for automation. Had a friend that went there and said they dislike mundane work so they seek to automate it all. They even had robots working at hotel desks.

    Five things about Japan's robot hotel - BBC News
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    I watched a show awhile back on a new pizza company that is almost totally automated.

    You call in your pizza order and machines get it ready, put it on the truck and cooks it on the way to your house.

    All the driver does it pick up the box and bring it to you.

    I think there are two guys in the factory that oversee the machine that begins the process.

    I think it's fantastic.

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    Veteran Member Southern Dad's Avatar
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    I love the idea of automation. Does it put people out of work? Yes, it does. Labor expense is many companies highest expense. Any way that a company can cut labor costs improves the bottom line.

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    Radical Centrist BigLeRoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bajisima View Post
    Not sure if they will replace all fast food workers or retail, but I bet a lot fewer will work in the future. Computers have finally reached the point where they are powerful and small which is what most have waited for. Saw a documentary a year or so ago on the Japanese and oh boy they really look like they almost want to replace humans! They are more into human like robots and such so I imagine they will be pushing hard for automation. Had a friend that went there and said they dislike mundane work so they seek to automate it all. They even had robots working at hotel desks.

    Five things about Japan's robot hotel - BBC News
    We're living in a science fiction world.

    Some people just don't 'get' that. Some people are suffering from what Alvin Toffler called 'future shock'.

    Hang on to your hat: We are probably going to see more technological change in the next 20 years than we've seen in the past 60.
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    I kind of find it hard to believe it's taken this long to start automating those shit jobs.

    If robots can raise productivity and slash costs, here's to lunch at my favorite chicken joint going from $10 to $5. That's what I'm talking about. Sure, the first ones will just make a couple of rich people richer. And that's fine, because they're stepping into uncharted territory and will probably take some working out the kinks on the chin. But eventually, these robots will be everywhere, and available, and the competition will hopefully be sufficient to drive down prices.

    There is competition, right? They do actually compete, right? I mean, they're not all just owned by a handful of billionaires who collude on prices, are they?

    I'm just asking.
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    Quote Originally Posted by splansing View Post
    I kind of find it hard to believe it's taken this long to start automating those shit jobs.

    If robots can raise productivity and slash costs, here's to lunch at my favorite chicken joint going from $10 to $5. That's what I'm talking about. Sure, the first ones will just make a couple of rich people richer. And that's fine, because they're stepping into uncharted territory and will probably take some working out the kinks on the chin. But eventually, these robots will be everywhere, and available, and the competition will hopefully be sufficient to drive down prices.

    There is competition, right? They do actually compete, right? I mean, they're not all just owned by a handful of billionaires who collude on prices, are they?

    I'm just asking.
    Given that, it's hard to imagine how California's "In and Out Burger" franchises stay in business. They pay above minimum wage, to start--about $9/hour last I heard.

    The real question here is whether people want to get their food from a machine. It works great for cash at the ATM, but people might feel differently about food. After all...what happened to the Automat?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigLeRoy View Post
    We're living in a science fiction world.

    Some people just don't 'get' that. Some people are suffering from what Alvin Toffler called 'future shock'.

    Hang on to your hat: We are probably going to see more technological change in the next 20 years than we've seen in the past 60.
    Part of Toffler's notion of the future was "high tech/high touch." He believed that as technology takes over so much of our lives, humans will crave the attention and sociability of other humans, even in situations where technology might be more efficient.
    Thanks from Friday13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    Given that, it's hard to imagine how California's "In and Out Burger" franchises stay in business. They pay above minimum wage, to start--about $9/hour last I heard.

    The real question here is whether people want to get their food from a machine. It works great for cash at the ATM, but people might feel differently about food. After all...what happened to the Automat?
    The In and Out Burger is goddamn delicious, that's how they do it. I can't even think of anything I could actually order at McDonald's right now that I would want. Nothing.

    I'm in the group that doesn't want food from a robot. To facilitate that, your materials are going to have to be processed to within an inch of their lives. And that shit is already practically inedible.

    I'll stick with In and Out Burger, thank you very much. And Chick Fil A.

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