Wendy’s has pushed forward its self-serving kiosks installation date in response to the announcement of increased minimum wages in New York and California.
While the idea of automation is no surprise, some employees were caught off-guard after last week’s announcement. Wendy’s employees in Chicago are already reporting that there are going to be reductions in some outlets, as there are plans to introduce self-serve kiosks. For now, Wendy’s plans on relocating those few employees to other outlets, but it won’t come as a surprise if the company starts letting go employees entirely in the near future.
While there is an obvious argument against automation, companies will always seek ways of reducing costs, and let’s face it, it’s sometimes a pain in the backside dealing with some servers given that their customer etiquette isn’t always on point. I myself would prefer hitting a few buttons and getting my meal without having to deal with a side serving of horrible customer service.
Self-serve kiosks are definitely picking up ground, as they are already popular in institutions like banks, malls, airports, and other companies offering different types of customer service.
Wendy’s says that the kiosk conversions will only take place at selected company-owned outlets, while franchise owners will still be given the option of keeping staff.
As more states look into the option of increasing the minimum wage, it won’t be surprising if Wendy’s backtracks and forces franchise owners to take the automated option instead. Either that or they sell more expensive burgers.