Here’s how you split the baby on the livable wage argument (with secret sauce):
Andrew Charles from Cowen cited plans for the restaurant chain to roll out mobile ordering across 14,000 U.S. locations by the end of 2017. The technology upgrades, part of what McDonald’s calls “Experience of the Future,” includes digital ordering kiosks that will be offered in 2,500 restaurants by the end of the year and table delivery.
“Well,” J. Addington McFatcat didn’t say, “those jobs flipping burgers were never meant to be permanent jobs.”
And the kicker, of course, is that there are no replacement jobs. You can do the math here if you walk into a McDonald’s store and count the number of cashiers, multiply it by 3 (probably average number of shifts per day, and you can assume no one gets an 8-hour shift, so this is really a conservative number) and then multiply that by 14K locations. And if McDonald’s gets there first, all the other chains will follow. It’s significant. Ayn Rand farrago-ists Paul Ryan and Rand Paul are popping wood, probably.
For the record, I’m far from being anti-tech and far from being anti-capitalism, but I think that technology is supposed to solve real problems and enhance people’s lives. Not all automation is bad, but this automation is designed only to enhance shareholders and to hurt everyone else. Is this really a problem that needed a solution? No.
One can claim that the order will be more accurate by placing it at a kiosk, but when you open the bag and find the fish sandwich and not the chicken, you will still need to complain to the manager; it will still happen. You can tell me that placing your order from your phone on the way to the store to pick it up is convenient, but you are still going to the store where you will still wait in line. One can argue that shaving seconds off of placing an order is a benefit, but I would reply that this is a net loss if it results in so much misery.
So when you just wanna get your high school kid off the Nintendo couch this summer, believe her/him when they tell you Micky-D is not hiring.