All over social media, there is talk of how the fight for a $15 minimum wage would lead to decreases in jobs. This is has been especially true for places like McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, and other multi-national fast-food companies. Meme's like the one shown here, can be found all over social media, and like most meme's, they are only being used as a tool to try and silence the discussion.
Unfortunately, McDonald's has done a very poor job of explaining their madness to the general public, and as such, has resulted in being the brunt of bad publicity in the fight towards a $15 minimum wage.
I am going to try and explain the method to McDonald's madness in this new technology scheme of theirs.
While these kiosks do require less employees to work in the front as cashiers, it shifts the majority of positions into the kitchen. This picture shows six (6) new order taking positions (These kiosks are double sided, so there is one on each side), plus there are going to be two registers at the front counter as well, and almost all McDonald's have gone to double drive thru (available at all times it says on the signs). That is ten (10) order taking stations, where there used to be four or five. To meet that demand, almost all the McDonald's have started remodeling the kitchens to house more cooks to meet the demand of more orders per hour. Plus they now offer table service, which is another employee, so that everyone isn't standing in a mass at the front counter waiting on orders. McDonald's corporate staffing also states that these kiosks must be manned by a cashier, in case someone comes in and doesn't want to use them, the cashier can use it for them and the guest just swipes their card.
Now, while it may seem that positions have been eliminated, McDonald's has actually created more positions and increased its staffing. In this way, McDonald's can (in theory) server more customers per hour than they could previously. More customers per hour means more sales per hour. More sales per hour, means that they can afford to pay their employees more, which actually makes these pieces of equipment beneficial to the minimum wage increase, if used properly.
Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or comments on this analysis.