McDonald’s CEO: No Plans To Replace Employees With Robots Yet

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I don't care what the CEO of McDonald's is saying now, he let the cat out of the bag when he said it would be cheaper to install robots than to pay workers $15 an hour. I really do think we are going to eventually end up with completely automated fast food production with a couple human employees around to make sure things are looked after. What do you think?

McDonald’s, of course, runs on a franchise model, and doesn’t actually own or operate most of its restaurants. Yet some of the company’s innovations, like the Create Your Taste burger-ordering kiosk, would replace humans, but people would still cook the burgers and even bring diners their fancier food at their tables. “Ultimately we’re in the service business,” Easterbrook said. “We will always have an important human element.” Easterbrook says that the company would prefer to shift humans to jobs in the dining room or interacting with customers.
 

OEM

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The $15/hr wage will hasten the demise of the burger guy. McDonalds doesn't even flip burgers anymore, they have a hot plate that comes down on the top of the patty. I worked at McD's in highschool, starting at $5.15 an hour.
 

Lunas

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they might be thinking twice about that... the min wage here is 8.50 mcd pays 10.25 starting here...
 

DukenukemX

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People need to understand that jobs that require any physical labour are harder to replace than desk jobs. Any time people need to communicate with people, your job is safer than Bob from accounting. Cause dealing with machines sucks, and we have experience with this. How many people here make phone calls and press 0 for representative, or just yell at the stupid machine for a person? And the companies are getting smart cause some of these machines pretend to be human, and if you ask them if they're a robot, they respond back with no. Not particularly good at it.

But desk jobs have very little human interaction. And unlike that teenager at McDonalds who gets paid $35K a year, you get paid 100k. Nobody is going to miss you, and the company saves a lot in not having to pay for you. Plus, since software like AI can do your job, it's extremely cheap to replace you. Who has more incentive to be replaced?
 

LatexRat

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So, they don't care if the food they're selling is bad for the customers and they don't care if the workers get paid enough to survive. Pretty common stance from the biggest corporations. The less you care about people, the easier it is to make bank.
 

Lunas

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So, they don't care if the food they're selling is bad for the customers and they don't care if the workers get paid enough to survive. Pretty common stance from the biggest corporations. The less you care about people, the easier it is to make bank.
I guess you dont realize that is the name of the game everywhere ALL businesses pay just enough to get butts in the seats. The food industry has been living high on the hog due to lack of skills or experience needed to do said job.

That said most fast food and retail stores like to claim it can be a career as you move from cashier to team leader to management.

Just think Radio Shack paid min wage plus commissions with a series of loop holes by which commission was paid. Lets me see when i worked there it was 1.5% on accessories tvs and parts drawers and radio shack branded items it was then restricted in you had to have over 64 dollars per hour average in sales to get any and only things sold after you met the average qualified during the holiday season the average was increased to 75 dollars per hour. And returns counted against you so one tiny return killed your entire week... Cell phones were a flat 5 dollar commission on pre paid and 15 on post paid.

After i had left the company they changed it to 3% flat on everything and the cell phone commissions went up too...

Discounts were great though 50% on radio shack items 10% on everything else tv and laptops and phones while i worked there were exempt.

Needless to say my pay was never really much above min wage... My paychecks nearly doubled when i left...
 

LatexRat

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Obviously you've never created or run a business.

They're not a social services agency and burger flipping was not meant to be a career to support a car, mortgage, and family of four.

I've run a successful business for over 10 years. The reason to go into business is to provide something amazing and take pride in what you're doing and how you're doing it. If you're not doing that.. you're doing it wrong.
So, underpaying workers, using the cheapest ingredients... Yea, that counts as doing it wrong.
 

snowcrash

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Democrats (especially in CA) have nobody to blame but themselves for not only thinking of $15/hr wage hike but actually passing a law to require it in some states. This is the stupidest law ever and can only hurt businesses especially the small ones. This is way too close to socialism.

I wonder if their thought process is that there are not enough jobs and whatever is available are not paying enough so we will make sure that those do have jobs will get paid just like the CEOs of each company. We're spiraling towards significant income inequality and this is bad news.
 

LatexRat

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Democrats (especially in CA) have nobody to blame but themselves for not only thinking of $15/hr wage hike but actually passing a law to require it in some states. This is the stupidest law ever and can only hurt businesses especially the small ones. This is way too close to socialism.

I wonder if their thought process is that there are not enough jobs and whatever is available are not paying enough so we will make sure that those do have jobs will get paid just like the CEOs of each company. We're spiraling towards significant income inequality and this is bad news.

I don't think you get it. We should all be making more money. Minimum wage is well below adequate thanks to inflation. If a small business can't afford to pay someone $120 a day.. What kind of shitty business can't cover that? and to think that McDonalds can't is just hilarious.
 

DrLobotomy

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Democrats (especially in CA) have nobody to blame but themselves for not only thinking of $15/hr wage hike but actually passing a law to require it in some states. This is the stupidest law ever and can only hurt businesses especially the small ones. This is way too close to socialism.

I wonder if their thought process is that there are not enough jobs and whatever is available are not paying enough so we will make sure that those do have jobs will get paid just like the CEOs of each company. We're spiraling towards significant income inequality and this is bad news.

Maybe it will force said corporation to take some of the overinflated PR, advertising, ceo, coo, etc salaries and give it to the people who actually do the fucking work. So you are saying that some how we would be heading to more income inequality by taking some fat cats income and giving it to the low paid workers?? Is that Texas math? Sounds like Texas math.
 

snowcrash

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I don't think you get it. We should all be making more money. Minimum wage is well below adequate thanks to inflation. If a small business can't afford to pay someone $120 a day.. What kind of shitty business can't cover that? and to think that McDonalds can't is just hilarious.
Minimum wage is supposed to motivate you out of the shit job into a skilled well paying one. It is not meant to support a family of 4.
 
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DrLobotomy

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Minimum wage is supposed to motivate you out of the shit job into a regular well paying one. It is not meant to support a family of 4.

Some people take pride in cooking. Just because society says it is a shit job and you not liking that job does not make it any less important. Just because society has fucked up values doesn't mean you have to follow. All work is work. Take pride in it no matter what.
 

Galvin

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This will just increase over time, robots replacing humans. Just be glad we dont have a robot that can do everything a human can do. Basically an android. That too is just a when and not if. But most likely beyond my life time.
 

Lunas

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the only thing this will do is cause them to add self serve cashiers or somehow find a way to use lower quality ingredients while increasing the cost it is 9 dollars for a value meal these days i remember when it was 5.25 for the same meal and they used better beef at the time...
 

sfsuphysics

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Minimum Wage--- "We would pay you less if we could."
Minimum wage --- "We could literally get a monkey to do the job you do if it wasn't for the sanitary concerns... and FYI the monkey is probably cleaner"
Minimum wage --- "This job literally requires no skills to do, so why should we pay you as if it does"
Minimum wage --- "Most people with a skillset to get a better paying job would, yet here you are complaining about the pay guess what that says about you"
 

nilepez

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It's pretty clear that eventually almost all jobs will be handled by software or robots. I'm pretty sure someone will eventually right a bot that can post news stories on [H] and add in snarky comments and eventually we'll have software that can write software. The only reason we'll have people working is because they want to work or because some people just want people to serve them...or they believe that people are better than machines at some task (even if they aren't)...kinda like people think that GMOs are bad, even though there's no supporting evidence.
 

toast0

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McDonald's is definitely working to reduce the labor required, fancy automated drink machines, little things here and there in the cooking process, mobile ordering, giving people empty soda cups to fill instead of keeping the fountain behind the counter. It's hard to make enough of a change to reduce the minimum staff count, but you can probably handle a bigger rush with that number of people, and maybe reduce the amount of time you need more people. Also you'll be better able to manage breaks and cleaning.
 

Staples

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I think the robots are cheaper than paying humans $5 an hour.

The only reason they are not considering it yet is because the technology has not been perfected.
 

midnightfrolic

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To be honest with you, I'd rather have robots/software serve me my order. I place my order. The screen shows me my order to confirm, I pay. I drive up and pick it up. I don't have to worry about someone forgetting to add/remove stuff. It sure feels like I'm talking to a robot when I got through the drive through, why not replace them with the real thing and make the price cheaper? They can also serve any kind of meal any time of day. Pretty soon, you can order any type of fast food at a single place.

"Welcome to Carl's Jr.! Fuck you!" "Would you like a BIG ASS FRIES with that?!"
 

Gorankar

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Some people take pride in cooking. Just because society says it is a shit job and you not liking that job does not make it any less important. Just because society has fucked up values doesn't mean you have to follow. All work is work. Take pride in it no matter what.

It is fine to take pride in your work, but I don't pay for your pride, just your work. A McDonald's "chef's" work is simply not that valuable.
 

haste.

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People need to understand that jobs that require any physical labour are harder to replace than desk jobs. Any time people need to communicate with people, your job is safer than Bob from accounting. Cause dealing with machines sucks, and we have experience with this. How many people here make phone calls and press 0 for representative, or just yell at the stupid machine for a person? And the companies are getting smart cause some of these machines pretend to be human, and if you ask them if they're a robot, they respond back with no. Not particularly good at it.

But desk jobs have very little human interaction. And unlike that teenager at McDonalds who gets paid $35K a year, you get paid 100k. Nobody is going to miss you, and the company saves a lot in not having to pay for you. Plus, since software like AI can do your job, it's extremely cheap to replace you. Who has more incentive to be replaced?
LOL bob from accounting is 1000000× harder to replace than a teller, line cook, labor worker, etc. I guess you don't understand automation vs specialization that can't be replaced anytime soon. Lol again.
 

sleepeeg3

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People need to understand that jobs that require any physical labour are harder to replace than desk jobs. Any time people need to communicate with people, your job is safer than Bob from accounting. Cause dealing with machines sucks, and we have experience with this. How many people here make phone calls and press 0 for representative, or just yell at the stupid machine for a person? And the companies are getting smart cause some of these machines pretend to be human, and if you ask them if they're a robot, they respond back with no. Not particularly good at it.

But desk jobs have very little human interaction. And unlike that teenager at McDonalds who gets paid $35K a year, you get paid 100k. Nobody is going to miss you, and the company saves a lot in not having to pay for you. Plus, since software like AI can do your job, it's extremely cheap to replace you. Who has more incentive to be replaced?
The guy in the back "flipping burgers" or dipping the fries requires no communication. Robot!

The cashier taking the order. Is communicating with people necessary? Self-checkout robot!

Literally, you could replace the entire store with a machine that spits out burgers. It would also save on real-estate costs.

Accountants exist and get paid a ton of money, because their job is skilled. Everyone is going to miss that guy, because no machine and few humans can do that job accurately and mistakes can add up to millions of dollars. ...at least until the IRS gets abolished and replaced by the FairTax. :) Then we can get rid of Bob, too.
 

tetris42

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I've run a successful business for over 10 years. The reason to go into business is to provide something amazing and take pride in what you're doing and how you're doing it. If you're not doing that.. you're doing it wrong.
So, underpaying workers, using the cheapest ingredients... Yea, that counts as doing it wrong.
Well that's ONE REASON to go into business. If you're a high-functioning psychopath who wants to get as rich as possible, that attitude is just as compatible with the business world as someone who actually cares about what they're doing. Hence the reason things like regulations exist; some people get a little too good at the maximum profit / screw everyone spectrum.

It's pretty clear that eventually almost all jobs will be handled by software or robots. I'm pretty sure someone will eventually right a bot that can post news stories on [H] and add in snarky comments and eventually we'll have software that can write software. The only reason we'll have people working is because they want to work or because some people just want people to serve them
And in the meantime, if there aren't enough jobs, but people still need to eat or pay rent can just....?
 

-Dragon-

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LOL bob from accounting is 1000000× harder to replace than a teller, line cook, labor worker, etc. I guess you don't understand automation vs specialization that can't be replaced anytime soon. Lol again.
The people that expect a "living wage" for doing shit jobs have absolutely no concept of skilled labor, they assume everyone else is as dumb and useless as they are but somehow got lucky and got a better job because white, and that given the chance they could totally do the same work with the same level of competency, They are literally too unintelligent to comprehend the differences in skill and ability between themselves and functional human beings.
 

Spewn

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The guy in the back "flipping burgers" or dipping the fries requires no communication. Robot!

The cashier taking the order. Is communicating with people necessary? Self-checkout robot!

Literally, you could replace the entire store with a machine that spits out burgers. It would also save on real-estate costs.

Accountants exist and get paid a ton of money, because their job is skilled. Everyone is going to miss that guy, because no machine and few humans can do that job accurately and mistakes can add up to millions of dollars. ...at least until the IRS gets abolished and replaced by the FairTax. :) Then we can get rid of Bob, too.

An order kiosk can do an infinitely better job at taking an accurate order, you don't have to pay it and it never takes breaks and it will probably last a long time before you need a new one...but people don't want to use them, this is plainly obvious if you go anywhere with self-checkouts or touchscreen order kiosks. The actual human cashiers always have lines and there are always self-checkouts that are empty. His point was that if you had a machine that could do Bob from accounting's job, the ONLY person who would care is Bob because he'd be out on his ass. If you replace all your cashiers with automated systems your customers won't be happy, but not one customer will care(because they'll never know) that you replaced the accounting team with software. He wasn't talking about how hard it is to do, he was talking about how customers might respond.
 

nutzo

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I don't think you get it. We should all be making more money. Minimum wage is well below adequate thanks to inflation.

Wrong. If you go back 30 years and adjust for inflation, minimum wage should be around $8 or $9 per hour.

Asking someone if they want fries with that is NOT worth $15/hour, and if you need more money, get an education and/or find a better job.
Fast food type jobs are supposed to be starter jobs, where you learn how to work a real job and then move on to something better.

By mandating $15/hour, you will eliminate many of these low skilled starter jobs.
Wonder why they just hand you a cup and let you fill your own drinks? It's cheaper to let your refill your cup 3 times than to pay someone to fill it once.
We have already seen restaurants being shut down in starts that have implemented these higher minimum wages.

There is also another problem with implementing $15/hour state wide in a state as large as California. $15/hour might be manageable in wealth areas like San Francisco or Newport Beach, but in some of the poorer inland areas, you have half the population currently making less than that. This is going to destroy a huge number of jobs in those places.
 

nutzo

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An order kiosk can do an infinitely better job at taking an accurate order, you don't have to pay it and it never takes breaks and it will probably last a long time before you need a new one...but people don't want to use them, this is plainly obvious if you go anywhere with self-checkouts or touchscreen order kiosks. The actual human cashiers always have lines and there are always self-checkouts that are empty.

I'd bet good money, that if they started offering 10% off any orders placed on the touch screen, they would see a huge increase in their usage.
 

Mister E

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I'd probably get a better tasting and better assembled hamburger from a robot than some asshole pimple faced emo turd.
 

Chimpee

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I don't care what the CEO of McDonald's is saying now, he let the cat out of the bag when he said it would be cheaper to install robots than to pay workers $15 an hour. I really do think we are going to eventually end up with completely automated fast food production with a couple human employees around to make sure things are looked after. What do you think?

McDonald’s, of course, runs on a franchise model, and doesn’t actually own or operate most of its restaurants. Yet some of the company’s innovations, like the Create Your Taste burger-ordering kiosk, would replace humans, but people would still cook the burgers and even bring diners their fancier food at their tables. “Ultimately we’re in the service business,” Easterbrook said. “We will always have an important human element.” Easterbrook says that the company would prefer to shift humans to jobs in the dining room or interacting with customers.

Cmon Steve, no robot killing humans by poisoning food! You are becoming a robot, like one of them!!
 

Gideon

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If processing power keeps getting more powerful eventually the robots may come for all our jobs.
 

viscountalpha

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I think the robots are cheaper than paying humans $5 an hour.

The only reason they are not considering it yet is because the technology has not been perfected.


i'm still waiting for an automated store to catch fire and burn down. It's going to take a few of those even with near perfected technology to make it unprofitable.
 
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