Carl's Jr. CEO Readies Robot Workforce to Counter Rising Wages

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT
 

Carl's Jr. CEO Readies Robot Workforce to Counter Rising Wages

Carl's Jr.

The fast food industry in the United States currently employs approximately five million human beings, however the CEO of Carl's Jr. wants to change that. Andy Puzder, who is also the CEO of Hardee's, believes that he has no choice but to swap humans for robots.

Said Puzder: "With government driving up the cost of labor, it's driving down the number of jobs. You're going to see automation not just in airports and grocery stores, but in restaurants."

"If you're making labor more expensive, and automation less expensive - this is not rocket science."

The 65-year-old CEO bemoans current and future minimum wage increases, and isn't shy about pointing fingers at the political figures he believes are responsible.

"This is the problem with Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton, and progressives who push very hard to raise the minimum wage. Does it really help if Sally makes $3 more an hour if Suzie has no job?" asked Puzder, rhetorically.

Not only does Puzder see robots as a cheaper alternative to human employees, he also pointed to other advantages of an automated workforce.

"They're always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there's never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race discrimination case," he explained.

Carl's Jr. and Hardee's have more than 3,000 locations in the United States.

Source: Business Insider

Permalink

At what point does automating jobs become an issue? Can we visit the idea of paying people to not work if there isn't enough work for everyone? I'm talking about in a sustained manner, not just welfare or unemployment. Its been years since I cashiered but I still don't use automated cashiers because it just feels wrong. Not an overtly ethical wrong just this weird creeped out, this won't end well in the long term wrong. I could see myself not going to a fully automated fast food restaurant if it replaces all the humans.

"This is the problem with Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton, and progressives who push very hard to raise the minimum wage. Does it really help if Sally makes $3 more an hour if Suzie has no job?" asked Puzder, rhetorically.

Does it really help Puzder if Sandra the Simulacra is the perfect employee if neither Suzy nor Sally have a job to allow them to buy his food?

So the solution is to fire both Sally and Susie for SAL-1E, after making a statement pretending to be worried about either of them. You fucking turds need to be taken out of your CEO towers.

Let me play the world's smallest violin for you, Mr. Multi-millionaire whose entire family is setup for generations. Why don't you try living on minimum wage for a month and then see if raising that by 3 measly dollars helps or not. Rich, disconnected asshole. If you're not going to pay your workers a living wage then yeah, they are better off without a job, and I truly hope they take their services to an employer that will pay them fairly.

I'd bet good money that if you raised prices by a few cents per item you could afford it too. Back during the healthcare debate, Papa Johns claimed that it would be prohibitively expensive to provide all of their workers with healthcare. Turns out, you just need to raise prices by something like a dollar per pizza. I'll pay a dollar more for a $25 pizza if it means people get heath coverage. These are not poor, barely-getting-by mom and pop businesses. These are multi-million dollar entities. Most of the "if you raise wages I'll fire people" arguments are complete BS. They just don't want to take the tiniest hit in profits to actually provide for their workers.

I will say that, as much as I love robotics and what it can do for humanity, this is something we need to be *very* vigilant about. Especially in the US where corporatism has run amok to such a degree. If you think Carls Jr is the only company that is chomping at the bit to replace its workforce with robots, you're kidding themselves. Even if they *don't* raise the minimum wage, robots would be a cheaper option. At the end of the day, corporations are not moral entities. They are amoral machines, and their only goal is to maximize profits. If replacing your staff with robots will maximize profits, they will do it. He's just bringing up minimum wage to make a petty political point and shift the blame.

Definitely going to need some laws to prevent this kind of crap over the next few decades or there's going to be some serious unemployment issues in low-wage jobs. A lot of fast-food chains already outsource their drive-through order-taking to call centers (some of which are overseas) so that they don't have to pay a couple people to actually man the window.

On the bright side this will create factories that'll manufacture the robots and paying jobs for the highly trained professionals that have to maintain them.

On the down side the factory will likely be sent overseas, so this won't create jobs here, and they'll probably just hand the service manual to the geekiest kid they hire instead of paying that highly trained professional to handle the tech support. Yay progress.

Makes you wonder, is it worse to always be poor, or to get up there only to lose your job?

That's what I've always wondered. I live in a third world country, and like China, one of our advantages is cheap labor. If the standard of living gets better, and everyone gets a bit more financially stable, then we lose that advantage, and then we have a situation like this where CEOs would rather replace everyone with robots. Maybe we should just make being poor not so bad. Or we could force the corporations to keep their employees on.

I dunno. I know nothing about this.

Obama says "we need to make it so that anyone can go to college to learn programming, and robotics" people shrug him off as day dreaming. some of the brightest minds alive talk about 'we need to be mindful to not replace every human with robots, or the economy will quake' people just ignore them.

and then things like this happen... WON'T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE HUMANS

Terminalchaos:
At what point does automating jobs become an issue? Can we visit the idea of paying people to not work if there isn't enough work for everyone? I'm talking about in a sustained manner, not just welfare or unemployment. Its been years since I cashiered but I still don't use automated cashiers because it just feels wrong. Not an overtly ethical wrong just this weird creeped out, this won't end well in the long term wrong. I could see myself not going to a fully automated fast food restaurant if it replaces all the humans.

"This is the problem with Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton, and progressives who push very hard to raise the minimum wage. Does it really help if Sally makes $3 more an hour if Suzie has no job?" asked Puzder, rhetorically.

Does it really help Puzder if Sandra the Simulacra is the perfect employee if neither Suzy nor Sally have a job to allow them to buy his food?

this is something I have been asking for years now. "what happens when there are no 'middle class jobs' and 40-60% of the population has no ability to obtain a fragment of a job?" in every Utopian society that embraces technology, and automation they never talk about what happened to the lower, and middle classes. at least until we realize that the lower and middle class are a secret underground attempting to overthrow the Utopia by subverting what it has been built on......

looks at Politics..... Funny I didn't think we were in a Utopia

If corporations drop their employees they lose a lot of their justification for all the benefits and breaks we give them. If a locally owned corporation employs no one from its home country then why aren't they paying tariffs and higher taxes?

The guy is an idiot.

You know what else is not rocket science Mr. CEO? The fact that replacing 5 million fast-food workers with robots means that there will be 5 million less people who can afford to buy the very product you're trying to sell.

What he's spouting is a BS argument and one I've seen quite a few times. They will argue that by lowering or removing minimum wage they will make more profits and in turn be able to hire more workers. What they constantly prove though is that any time they actually do increase their profits they celebrate by divvying those profits up with their executives and shareholders as bonuses.

He complains about labor costs being too expensive but he's not mentioning that he, as a higher end employee, is also part of that company's labor costs and if he were really worried about making labor costs cheaper he (and executives like him) would stop making their company pay for their corporate jets, corporate cars, corporate housing, corporate credit cards and all the other things they make the company pay for in their employment contract that most other people have to pay for out of their own pockets.

He's spouting trickle-down economics and it DOES NOT WORK.

BUT WAIT! HOLD THE PRESS! Countries in Europe have a good minimum wage. Burger restaurants are forced to pay their staff a reasonably good wage (better than their brothers and sisters get in the United States)

"Oh Li Mu", I hear you cry, "Due to this decent living wage, all the burger restaurants must have surely closed down in Europe. How could they possibly ever make a profit whilst still paying their employees a livable salary?"

Well, it sure sounds crazy, doesn't it? Especially if you believe Mr. Carl jr. But strangely, Europe is full of burger joints.

I worked in KFC 12 years ago in the UK. I was getting ?6.70 per hour, which was a great little wage when I was 19 and still at college. ?6.70 is just over $9.
I've just checked out the average wage for a McDonalds employee in the US and it's $7-$9. 12 years ago I was earning more than a US burger flipper earns today.
Does KFC still exist in the UK? Yup. Does it still exist in Europe? Yup. So paying your staff a better wage clearly hasn't caused the collapse of KFC. They haven't had to resort to robots.

"Oh, but the cost of living in the UK is waaaay higher than in the US", I hear you shout. Well you're wrong.

Here's a little research I've done.

Rent Prices in United Kingdom are 8.86% lower than in United States

Indeed, our restaurant prices are way higher (mainly due to actually paying our staff and not having them rely on tips)
But hey, I'd rather get a better salary and eat out once a month rather than every week.

Basically, my wonderful state side brothers and sisters...you are exploited. You are being exploited like a Chinese kid in a sweatshop. But the weird thing is, half of you support your own exploitation.

EDIT; Oh come on Escapist. You refuse to recognize the 'pound sign'. It's one of main world currencies for God's sake. Dear reader, please replace the ?6.70 with 6 [british pounds] and 70[british pence], since the Escapist's forum doesn't accept the existence of any currency other than the dollar.

Make me pay workers something slightly closer to a decent wage! Now way, I'm firing everyone and replacing them all with robots. So there! And then pretending I had no choice but to do so, that'll fool them.

the unfortunate start to the automated future where half of people loose their jobs to automation that can do it more reliably, cheaper and never need rest.

i do wonder what will happen first we actually get to that 50% or they have protests that make the occupy wall street thing look like a sunday picnic in scope, anger and violence

If he's so down on higher minimum wage, why the fuck is he trying to open in Australia?

Yeesh, that CEO sounds like a, "profits over people" type of person.

I remember CGP Grey talking about things like this a while ago.

It's a tricky situation with no clear answers.
I'd say we need to move towards human enlightenment being the goal and material possession being standardized in some way.
No clue how though, since someone always strives to be on top, or worse - acts behind the scenes.

An alternative would be benevolent dictatorship with clear cut rules.

Macro societal handling aside, he's within his right to do so. It sucks, but that's the open market for you.

Oh my fucking God!! Businesses in the US, why the fuck are you afraid of actually paying your staff members a decent, reasonable wage? Is thta also the reason why tips are so high? Cause bosses can't be asked to pay waitress fully and correctly?

Politicians screams that the USA is the land of opportunity but really, when it comes to the working staff, you screw them over. Your minimum wage is shit and yet scream at those who would minimum wage jobs, telling them that it's their fault they are there. Coming up with incorrect figures and numbers. Screw that shit.

Honourable mention goes to the UK (minus Scotland causs they have it right)

Dear Tories, Labour and you know what, the rest of you, zero hour contract only benefits a small number of those in work and also certain sectors. Big mega corporations should not be exploiting this, MCDONALDS!!!

Oh? The employment figures are down, you say? You cook the books like you cook "tax" for big business. Overcooked, out of date and poisonous for all.

"If you're making labor more expensive, and automation less expensive - this is not rocket science."

Automation or not I really hate the way these people try and weasel out of paying other's a living wage...its like the whole "tipping" debate in America, its silly

if you need somone to be there for x amount of hours then you should pay them what that time is worth its not rocket science CE-bro

I guess the point is a bit moot with Automation (not just fot "basic jobs" in on the horizon) BUT STILL THE PRINCIPLE STANDS

Terminalchaos:
At what point does automating jobs become an issue?

that has been a topic of hot debate, people not working doesn't necessarily have to be bad but you've got a lot of obstacles in the way...one of which we generally find the very idea of "not working" incredibly hard to swallow as a society

and even if you somehow made a "basic guaranteed income" solution work....being at the mercy of the powers that be is not always a good thing

gardian06:
'we need to be mindful to not replace every human with robots, or the economy will quake' people just ignore them.and then things like this happen... WON'T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE HUMANS

its sorta that feeling when...youre on a train and you can't doing anything about cause somone else is driving

if this is something we'll have to worry about in the future I think its going to blind side a lot of people because the very idea sounds far too sci fi

Terminalchaos:

this is something I have been asking for years now. "what happens when there are no 'middle class jobs' and 40-60% of the population has no ability to obtain a fragment of a job?

that's easy....you just run propgaganda to the employed 40-60% telling then that the only reason they can't get a job is because they're too inferior/lazy/immoral/dumb/foreign/gay/whatever

I mean, how long before governments even try to nip this in the bud by instating laws on the maximum % of your workforce allowed to be non-human? Cause you kind of need something like that to keep the bottom from just falling out on our CEO topped economies.

Here's some things about machines taking over people's jobs that people don't talk about.

1.Machines at least at this point are at best morons and have no common sense. One fuck up, one mess up, things can go really wrong and unlike a human they can't correct the situation, or mitigate the damage. You know how sometimes you GPS Fucks up and tells you to drive through a building or go into a lake, now imagine a computer in that situation. what if one of those robots short-circuits or breaks in that fast food restaurant. How much damage is that going to do, or at least how much progress is going to be slowed? which leads into my next point.

2.robots in the long-term are more expensive for fast food jobs, you need to build them, maintain them, have someone code the robots(which will not come cheap) for your restaurant and you need a backup plan just in case they break down. Which in the long term is far more expensive.

and finally robots will have difficulty comprehending our stupidity. You know the stories about people acting dumb at a McDonald's and going behind the cash register to piss in the food, you know these jackasses who follow no road laws whatsoever. What is a machine going to do about that unless the company wants to re-create Twisted Metal.

not to say robots are a disaster when it comes to jobs but completely removing the human element is a terrible idea and companies for the first to jump on this are going to taste karma for the lives they ruined.

sorry for poor spelling

Isn't the minimum supposed to be at about $10 now with inflation factored in?

Still $7.25 here in Indiana.

And the minimum has gone up...how many times in the past century? And, yet, the country hasn't collapsed in on itself? And doesn't more money in people's wallets directly translate into more shit being bought? I thought that was Economics 101.

I don't get these people. But, at the same time, I don't get the idiots asking for a $15 minimum either.

*sigh* Idiots will be idiots

If everyone automates everything, then nobody will be able to get a job and nobody will be able to buy anything. So what good is a cheap, ever-wakeful workforce that never takes vacations if nobody is buying your products or services? This is something mankind in general will need to face quite soon...

There are several possible ways this will play out:

1. We make working optional - social state kicks in. High taxes and wealth redistribution, but everyone gets a basic income regardless of employment. Most of work is automated anyway, so we all benefit from it. Highly unlikely in the US, possible in the EU.

2. We regulate the use of automation. Set criteria on which jobs may be automated, so things that can be done by people will remain being done by people. A fairly likely scenario, though not quite yet.

3. We do nothing. Automation drives more and more people out of work to the point that a critical mass of disenfranchised is created, and we get a good old fashioned uprising.

4. We do nothing. The lack of purchasing power due to unemployment brings about even more recessions, which keeps happening until another solution is reached or the overall logistical system needed to support high levels of automation breaks down.

5. A vast percentage of population is removed. Population control, wars, disease, climate change, whatever. Surplus workforce is removed, society reforms based on automation to pick up the slack.

All in all, it's bleak in the short term, but not in the long term. Such large scale automation isn't viable in our current economic and social paradigm and the situation will either be resolved by us, or it will resolve itself despite us...

You know what, I'm not going to go on about how cuntish this is in regards to economy, morality and social responsibility because I can't say anything that hasn't been said already. What I will say is this. I don't know how it is in the US but in the UK it is impossible to get anything done by taking it up with a company's employees or customer service because all they do i follow a script they've been given. It's not their fault, they have to follow their employers rules and get fired for using common sense. But imagine how much worse it would be when these roles are taken up by robots, which literally cannot go off script. You find customer service frustrating now, just you fucking wait.

I remember reading something similar a couple of years ago. Some company didn't want to raise their wages because if they did then robots would be cheaper to use than real people. They 'won' that argument and no wages were raised because of it. Not even one year later that same company fired alot of their workers and instead bought robots to do their job because they are cheaper than even the lowest paying jobs.

So from what I know, from this one situation which might not even be true because I didn't check up on the "facts" written in that years old thing I read, this might be some sort of 'pre emptive strike' where they say that if wages go up then they will have to fire people. But actually, they are already planing on doing so and are just creating the answer to that inevitable question: "why did you fire so many people and replace them with robots" which might be asked in a couple of years.

Thats my take on it, my very, very stupid (almost conspiracy level) take on it hehe.
Cheers.

just greedy pricks being greedy pricks. Like someone else pointed out itr works fine in the UK and EU so0o0o0o0o he is clearly full of it.

Ever heard of Ned Ludd? He's a figure bordering on reality and folklore, after whom Luddites were named, a fairly active movement at the onset of XIXth century, where weavers would attack industrial equipment out of a well-founded concern, that said equipment will allow their work to be done by fewer, less skilled (and thus competitively priced) employees, forcing them out of a job. Turns out they were right, but they didn't die out, they just had to find different work.
Ultimately, as we now know Industrial Revolution has taken many lives of unqualified employees working in dangerous conditions because of insufficient legal regulation, an environment that mostly just allowed the rich to get richer, and faster. However, we have since developed laws, that make industry an important part of the modern world, that benefits not only the corporate fatcats, but pretty much everyone living in industrialized countries. As such, I don't think that progressing automation of work as a result of developments in robotics is something we should avoid - quite the opposite, it's to be welcomed, albeit well scrutinized and sensibly regulated (So like, write to your congressman about it or something? I'm not sure how that works in US - I mean this is inherently a global issue, but the fastfood in question is 'murican), so that we can hopefully avoid any situations analogous to XIXth century worker exploitation and the shit that came with it.
Honestly, I don't think we have reached a point already, where AI would offer suitable replacement for human servers at an economically viable price, but if he can make it work, it's probably a good thing for everyone.

TL;DR: A bad guy is doing a bad thing for bad reasons, but good things will come of it yet, especially if we help, so don't worry.

rcs619:

I'd bet good money that if you raised prices by a few cents per item you could afford it too. Back during the healthcare debate, Papa Johns claimed that it would be prohibitively expensive to provide all of their workers with healthcare. Turns out, you just need to raise prices by something like a dollar per pizza. I'll pay a dollar more for a $25 pizza if it means people get heath coverage. These are not poor, barely-getting-by mom and pop businesses. These are multi-million dollar entities. Most of the "if you raise wages I'll fire people" arguments are complete BS. They just don't want to take the tiniest hit in profits to actually provide for their workers.

Person 1 "Hey did you hear Carl's raised the salary of it's workers"
Person 2 "That's good"
Person 1 "Want to go eat there?"
Person 2 "No way they charge to much this other place is cheaper"

Extra Credits episode on what a 1 cent price increase can do to a multi billion dollar company.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxfkWZPAUg4&list=PLB9B0CA00461BB187&index=140

Parasondox:
Oh my fucking God!! Businesses in the US, why the fuck are you afraid of actually paying your staff members a decent, reasonable wage? Is that also the reason why tips are so high? Cause bosses can't be asked to pay waitress fully and correctly?

They aren't afraid of paying their staff a livable wage, they just don't want to. Paying their staff a decent wage means they can't afford that fourth ferrari they've been dreaming about.

There's this idea put forward by some CEOs that state "if I pay my workers less, then I can hire more workers and create more jobs for those that need them." however, in practice these CEOs are not so benevolent, instead they opt to run their companies on minimum wage, overworked skeleton crews[1].

I always found it interesting that the reward for being a good worker is overtime (read: more work).

-------------------------

OT: For those who didn't read the source article, it gets better.

But Puzder says that a restaurant that's 100% automated would have one big plus for millennials: no social interaction.

"Millennials like not seeing people," he says. "I've been inside restaurants where we've installed ordering kiosks ... and I've actually seen young people waiting in line to use the kiosk where there's a person standing behind the counter, waiting on nobody."

[1] Then have the audacity to complain about losses and customer dissatisfaction because there aren't enough employees to cover all the tasks necessary to keep the store running efficiently.

So? Economics is an ecosystem, not a machine. One change causes a ripple effect. OK so you replace your front end staff with machines. Suzy, Sally, and Sheila lose their jobs as cashiers at the Quickie Burg. Except you need at least one human employee to keep an eye on the machines and because customers are accustomed to and demand human interaction in some degree, so Sheila gets hired back to babysit them to do that. Because her new job is technically a supervisor posistion and involves looking over multiple stations, it includes higher pay. Suzy and Sally are still crocked of course. Except you need technicians to service the machines when they inevitably break or glitch. A new infrastructure is created for this end. Even at the bare minimum you need a technician to service the machines, and a dispatch to handle the work load. Either you create this in house or new companies form to see to this need. You likely create more jobs than you cut. The cost is not lost, you defray it.

Last time i checked with a min wage of $17ish in my country we still had fast food places, infact they are even now all becoming 24/7 because enough people go to them.

I love the logic here, labor is at its cheapest point in a century. Any correction upwards is class warfare.

Kuala BangoDango:
He's spouting trickle-down economics and it DOES NOT WORK.

He's spouting trickle down economics from the position of the only folks it actually works for -- the guys at the top. Because it doesn't, you know, trickle.

Of course, it's not wrong to say that you can be more loose with hiring if you don't have to pay them much, and thus to a certain degree a lower minimum wage does mean more jobs (because it's cheap enough to throw more people at it to make the short term cost of moving to automation look unattractive, and short term profits are all that matter), but you're still going to only run the minimum crew you need for the job.

My current employer actually has everyone on reduced hours to avoid layoffs, and is having them do miscellaneous work instead of their actual jobs because we're between projects and it's easier and cheaper to have skilled tradesmen building fences at his farm, painting the offices, doing maintenance on company vehicles, etc (while still being paid at the hourly rate they make when making us money) than to try to replace them when the next project starts. In the past, we've been in that situation for upwards of a quarter, but we're a manufacturing company that really can't automate much (every piece is a one-off).

I'm all for robots making my food because hygiene but this guy is an asshole.

They actually don't want employees, they want slaves.

It's called a minimum wage job for a reason people. Minimum. Wage.
If you can't make a living off of it, work hard to get a better job? I did. Everyone else I know did.

This is the kind of thing that's going to lead to a world where robots take up most of our population. I'm not okay with this seeing that putting a bunch of people out of work and money to keep themselves afloat.

BodomBeachChild:
It's called a minimum wage job for a reason people. Minimum. Wage.
If you can't make a living off of it, work hard to get a better job? I did. Everyone else I know did.

If they take your advice and work hard to get a higher paying job because they can't make a living off of minimum wage, will there be enough decent paying jobs for everyone, considering those that are also being outsourced?

Don't get me wrong, I have a job in which I make that mythical $15 an hour, but I'm not so naive as to think my degree will save me from being replaced should somebody with slightly shottier skills but willing to work for $10 comes knocking because $10 looks good when you only make $8.

That's not even taking into account those who do have degrees, but simply can't get jobs in their field because it's over-saturated.

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Posting on this forum is disabled.