Thursday, May 26, 2016

Waitresses... At McDonald's?

Earlier this month on May 12, I wrote about the forthcoming automation at Wendy's restaurants. This is a cost saving measure to counter the ridiculous demands by employees to be paid $15 an hour. Obviously, if the price of staffing goes up, a business must find a more reasonable method of administering their product to offset the increased overhead expense. Long story short... here come the robots.

Today, McDonald’s Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook spoke to shareholders at the company’s annual meeting. He expanded upon the notion of kiosks and other robotic methods of serving customers, as well as their potential use in the house that Ronald McDonald built. Easterbrook said:
“I don’t see it being a risk to job elimination... Ultimately we’re in the service business. We will always have an important human element.”
Easterbrook further explained that any automation that takes place inside their restaurants would largely result in employees being shifted from the kitchen to the dining room area in a service capacity. Essentially, if you carefully read between the lines, the CEO is forecasting a major shift in what kind of employees will be hired by the company. So, what will that new status be?

They'll be waiters and waitresses. And what do waitresses make per hour? On average, less than $3.

Think about this for a moment. McDonald's employees will no longer flip burgers or bake apple pie crisps. Those jobs will be fully automated by machines. Instead, they'll bring customers more food and water, much like any other sit-down restaurant. As such, those employees will be compensated as waitresses, whom are legally allowed to be paid much less than the standard minimum wage. Customers will then tip these employees, thereby absorbing the increased cost of doing business.

In no simpler set of words, McDonald's shall put the burden onto its customers, at the same time paying less wages to their staff and making more profit. This is a classic win-win scenario.

Mark you calendars, my friends. I'm calling it now. At some point in the near future, you'll see waiters and waitresses at McDonald's.

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