Investor’s Business Daily reported Wednesday that fast food chain Wendy’s will be expanding the use of self-service kiosks in response to the rising minimum wage:
Wendy’s said that self-service ordering kiosks will be made available across its 6,000-plus restaurants in the second half of the year as minimum wage hikes and a tight labor market push up wages.
It will be up to franchisees whether to deploy the labor-saving technology, but Wendy’s President Todd Penegor did note that some franchise locations have been raising prices to offset wage hikes.
California has already raised the minimum wage to $10 an hour and, in April, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law which will raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2022. On the same day, New York’s Gov. Cuomo also signed a law which will raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour.
The push to raise the minimum wage is backed by labor unions under the banner Fight for 15. Bernie Sanders supports the Fight for 15 and Hillary Clinton also celebrated the passage of the law in New York, though she currently supports a national increase to $12 per hour.
Other fast food chains are also experimenting with self-service kiosks. McDonalds has also made them available to stores.
Self-service kiosks are already common in airports and cashiers have been replaced with self-service checkout at many grocery stores and even at Home Depot. It may be a few more years for the trend to really take hold in the fast food industry but self-service ordering is on the way. Some workers will certainly benefit from the $15 an hour minimum wage, but there will likely be fewer of them.