Widespread touchscreen ordering to come to NYC fast food restaurants by next year?

mcdonaldsThis cannot be said enough:

The Actual Minimum Wage is $0.00!

Why? Because that’s what you earn when you do not have a job, or business (with customers, I suppose)

The Wall Street Journal reports that, on Wednesday, as predicted, the panel convened by Governor Cuomo to study fast-food wages will formally recommend paying workers statewide $15 an hour — a substantial raise that’s nearly double the current rate of $8.75. The only step left is an okay from Acting Labor Commissioner Mario Musolino (which he’s expected to give), and then Cuomo can move forward (which there’s every indication he will) regardless of how the Legislature feels about it. So it looks likely that a big raise will come to New York’s fast-food workers.

Briefly. Because the actual minimum wage is zero. Seriously, the franchisees are screwed. So is anybody who gets defined as being ‘fast-food.’ But you know who will benefit? Fast-food restaurants that are directly owned by a corporation or family […]

Moe Lane » Widespread touchscreen ordering to come to NYC fast food restaurants by next year?.

Yup. Exactly. Why would you hire a surly employee for $15.00/hr, when for say $13.00/hr* you can have a robotic vending machine that will work 24/7 without breaks, complaints, making fewer mistakes, and never not showing up for work? Huh? Why??

My friend Jack Curtis adds this:

This is one more such move in what appears a developing chain, following the initial action in Seattle. All of it appears as a reaction to a rather perfunctory “nation wide” campaign by the Service Employees’ International Union (SEIU) after that body proved unable to organize fast food. Conclusion: If the union can’t do it, the Democrats will.

The move has some interesting aspects. It applies to chains with over 30 locations in state. An obviously prime target: McDonald’s. With so large an increase in labor costs, Big Macs prices must rise significantly.in a time its sales have been dropping. That’ll teach ’em to resist an SEIU organizing drive!

What favors will a significant fast food price rise provide the customers? Last time we read: “How to Stimulate an Economy,” hefty price increases were somehow omitted. We note too that a lot of fast food customers are lower income folk who really can’t afford pricey restaurants. Aren’t these supposed to be the Democrats’ favorite folk to help?

Wasn’t in my copy either, sad to say.

In other economic news, Steven Heyward at the Powerline Blog notes:

Did you happen to catch this little detail in yesterday’s news about the old A & P grocery chain filing bankruptcy:

More than 90% of A&P’s workers are union members, with 35 different collective-bargaining agreements that A&P said require benefit increases that are unsustainable. A&P said it would try to negotiate immediate changes to the contracts to prevent “catastrophic” results on sales, but otherwise will seek court orders to force the contract changes.

Gee: I wonder if those labor agreements have something to do with the chain’s uncompetitive cost structure and declining business prospects.

Meanwhile, from our “Don’t Look Now But. . .” file, the Chinese stock market seems to have stabilized after a significant correction that could be confused for a crash. But then there’s this little detail reported yesterday:

China may have the world’s second-biggest stock market after the U.S., but at one point during a roller-coaster ride for investors this month only 93 of 2,879 listed companies were freely tradable—about the same number as trade in Oman.

As always, read the entire articles, there’s more than what I copied.

NON-scientific wild a** guess. Likely much too high, really.



About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

6 Responses to Widespread touchscreen ordering to come to NYC fast food restaurants by next year?

  1. Mike says:

    salting their own fields…

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Indeed they are!


  2. Reblogged this on boudicabpi2015 and commented:

    Widespread touchscreen ordering to come to NYC fast food restaurants by next year?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. John Doe says:

    This is largely hokum.

    The tend towards different types of automated systems has been around much longer than most probably realize, going back as far as the 1990’s. The concept of cutting out the middle man in terms of the ordering process is even older than that. I am a big fan of the online ordering from Five Guys, which has been around for a while. Here is a restaurant in Japan that uses robots to cook…


    But outside of ordering and some automation in drink sizes, this is largely a novelty. If you look at the business models of most fast food chains they are moving, or exist entirely like Five Guys, to customized menus (hence Burger King’s motto “Be Your Way”, a slight change from “Have It Your Way”) and away from the rather set menu where there is little difference between orders. Robotic assembly really only works in venues where the menu is completely set, without a lot of customization. If every cheeseburger was the same, it might work out. Airports use this sort of thing, Pizza Hut only makes set personal pizzas, so this could work for them, but outside of these set scenarios, it is difficult to make it work. For example my son hates cherries, so his Chick-Fil-A shake has to have the cherry off, whereas another child hates mustard. Someone may not like pickles on their cheeseburger, another may like double. No ketchup. No mustard, etc… For a restaurant like Subway where almost every sandwich is different, the automation would be largely useless.

    And this is where the fast food industry is moving. The most vibrant chains that are popping up, Chipolte for example, are like Subway, completely customized.

    Simply put, the move to automation is actually very limited, and a bad argument.

    “With so large an increase in labor costs, Big Macs prices must rise significantly.in a time its sales have been dropping. That’ll teach ’em to resist an SEIU organizing drive!”

    Second issue, the Big Mac? It would be nice if we could actually examine this sort of thing….

    The Economist has been publishing the “Big Mac Index” a relative measure of purchasing power across the globe for almost 30 years. It is used for more complex economic analysis, but it can be used in this case in a much more direct fashion. Simply put, we can compare Big Macs in terms of labor costs.


    Cost of a Big Mac in the

    USA: 4.79
    Australia: 5.3

    Exchange rate…

    1 dollar US=1.37 Australian dollars

    So a US Big Mac is worth 4.79 in the US, but should be, based on exchange rates, worth 6.58 dollars in Australia, but is actually less, 5.1 Australia dollars.

    I bring this up because the minimum wage in Australia is 17.29 or 12.58 in USD, which is a little less than double the minimum wage in the US.

    So Australia has an almost double minimum wage, but a cheaper Big Mac.

    Denmark has an average of around 20 bucks. Their Big Macs are around $5.

    And so on…

    The arguments about rising costs should be made based on a decent understanding of economics, and it just is not.

    As for A&P, the store filed for bankruptcy in 2010, and has been largely losing market share for a long time, while their competition still has union issues, but has adapted to the market. The unionization is a problem that the model needs to deal with, but it is not going to kill the industry. A&P is dying because they are a bad business, not because of unions.


  4. the unit says:

    J.D. the cost much more. Did you ever have a Big Mac 35 years ago, or Hardee’s Huskey when stationed at a MCB about then too? You didn’t need to worry about ordering it your way. It came good. 🙂


  5. Pingback: My Article Read (7-25-2015) | My Daily Musing

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