Coming sooner than restaurant workers may think


Mr. Pinch Sulzberger: Will this mean I won’t find work?

Carl Jr. CEO wants to see fully-automated restaurants where customers will never see an employee.

“We could have a restaurant that’s focused on all-natural products and is much like an Eatsa, where you order on a kiosk, you pay with a credit or debit card, your order pops up, and you never see a person,” Carl’s Jr. CEO Andy Puzder told Business Insider.

Puzder says the automated restaurant would be cheaper since he wouldn’t have to worry about rising minimum wage.

“If you’re making labor more expensive, and automation less expensive- this is not rocket science,” Puzder said.

“They’re always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there’s never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race discrimination case,” says Puzder of swapping employees for machines. “Millennials like not seeing people. I’ve been inside restaurants where we’ve installed ordering kiosks… and I’ve actually seen young people waiting in line to use the kiosk where there’s a person standing behind the counter, waiting on nobody.”

And the NYT agrees with his sentiments; or it did until recently, anyway. 

There’s a virtual consensus among economists that the minimum wage is an idea whose time has passed. Raising the minimum wage by a substantial amount would price working poor people out of the job market. Most important, it would increase unemployment: Raise the legal minimum price of labor above the productivity of the least skilled workers and fewer will be hired.

If a higher minimum means fewer jobs, why does it remain on the agenda of some liberals? A higher minimum would undoubtedly raise the living standard of the majority of low-wage workers who could keep their jobs. That gain, it is argued, would justify the sacrifice of the minority who became unemployable. The argument isn’t convincing. Those at greatest risk from a higher minimum would be young, poor workers, who already face formidable barriers to getting and keeping jobs.

The idea of using a minimum wage to overcome poverty is old, honorable – and fundamentally flawed. It’s time to put this hoary debate behind us, and find a better way to improve the lives of people who work very hard for very little.


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5 responses to “Coming sooner than restaurant workers may think

  1. If it means more money for an already successful advertising campaign, I’m good.

  2. Anonymous

    The happier I will be is when we stop posting links to the New Times. We need to let that publication go out of business. Looking at Times articles feeds ad revenues. The Grey Lady needs to die in her sleep.

  3. Well cheer up, then; the link is to the American Enterprise Institute’s website, where they quote (and link to, so don’t click on it) the Times editorial from 1987.

  4. Anonymous

    The fourth amendment in action: