McDonald’s announced this week that it plans to replace cashiers with self-service kiosks in all its American restaurants by 2020, a likely response to the “Fight for 15” movement and new technology. …
CEO Steve Easterbrook [said] that McDonald’s locations in Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia are already “fully integrated” with the technology, while a majority of locations in France and Germany use it. …
McDonald’s is one of the biggest targets of the “Fight for 15” movement, whose goal is to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour nationwide, even in unskilled labor like entry-level positions at McDonald’s.
Many cities and states, especially progressive localities on the West Coast, have answered the call, passing laws mandating a $15 per hour minimum wage, through gradual hikes. The rising labor costs associated with increased minimum wages have undoubtedly forced McDonald’s and other fast food chains to utilize self-service stations.
More from BuzzFeed: “In the first quarter of the year, McDonald’s payroll and employee benefits were 30.2% of sales, up from 27.8% during the same period in 2017.”
Increase the relative cost of labor just hastens the replacement of people by technology. Trying to work around the market by legislation rarely works as expected by the economically-ignorant.