McDonald’s is making a significant change in how they do business, and “living wage” liberal activists are not likely pleased.
Market shares for McDonald’s jumped today after the fast food chain’s announcement to release digital ordering kiosks in 2,500 restaurants in the U.S., thereby replacing many cashiers. (via CNBC)
The digital order kiosks will be set up in front of the cashier table. They allow customers to browse the entire menu and custom order their meals. Once the selection of the meal is finalized, customers place the order and are given a ticket number used to identify their meal when it’s ready.
While speaking with analysts, McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook said the kiosk implementation “takes the stress away from the front counter, and therefore you divide some of the pressure during the busiest times […] from a commercial perspective, we see higher average checks because customers can browse the menu for a little bit longer, feel a little less pressure and they just tend to spend more.”
The news is an ironic blow to many liberal unions and its members that have been waging a four-year war to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. During the protests and policy debates, liberals were warned by economists that such a wage hike would be cost prohibitive to companies, incentivizing them to embrace technological solutions and automation to replace expensive entry-level employees.
With the recent announcement, it seems McDonald’s is joining the ranks of businesses proving this true. Instead of needing a small team of cashiers at the front demanding $15 an hour each, only one employee on a tablet will be needed to manage the orders received from the kiosks.
Investors are thrilled with the move, as evidenced by the jump in McDonald’s share value since the announcement. Cowen, a major global investment firm, has increased the rating they’ve given for McDonald’s stock, making it a glittering prize to shareholders and potential buyers.
When speaking about McDonald’s announcement Andrew Charles, a research analyst at Cowen said, “MCD has done a great job launching popular innovations within the context of simplifying the menu, while introducing more effective value initiatives that have recently begun to improve the brand’s value perceptions.”
While the digital kiosk is a relatively new feature to the U.S., it’s actually been around for a while at the McDonald’s restaurants in Europe and have proven very popular. In France alone, 90% of the restaurants have kiosks inside. McDonald’s has been quietly putting out the kiosks in Europe and parts of Asia as a test model for their biggest market, the U.S., and it seems they are confident in the change.
As liberals continue to wage their political war on the free market with their demand for government-mandated higher wages and regulation, corporations are pushing back through automation and technological advances. And as the economy adapts to oppose a purely political agenda, everyone reaps the benefits of innovation, lower costs, and always tasty burgers.
Will liberals ever learn? There’s no magic solution to poverty, and regulations on businesses certainly won’t solve the problem. A minimum wage might make sense to prevent floor-level wages, but when you raise the price of an item, there comes a point where people will buy less of it. When that item is labor, it means you won’t have as many jobs entry-level workers.
It might not be politically correct, and it might not make for a good slogan, but “minimum wage laws that match the value being provided by the worker” are exactly what America needs right now.