Since the election, labor intensive companies like McDonald’s have been crushed by the the stock market. Unfortunately, ObamaCare while offering broader coverage forces retail businesses to pick up the tab at least that is the analytical perspective. Already, layoffs have been announced across the restaurant industry. Traditional thinking demands tens of thousands of hands to serve up billions of burgers, but why?
Robots in China already prepare noodles, so why not America’s favorite diet? A team of California engineers recently formed Momentum Machines to “revolutionize the fast food industry” with a robotic burger-flipping machine. Its ‘smart chefs’ promises to replace “all of the hamburger line cooks in a restaurant. It does everything employees can do except better.” I know that this sounds sad, as we are loosing entry level jobs to robots now instead of China. However, Momentum not only plans to save BIG money (to the tune of $9 billion), but offer a healthier and more consistent alternative at the speed of 360 patties an hour.
While Momentum has yet to deploy its first machine and price information is not available on their site, the investment could pay off in spades for everyone involved including: the franchisor with a more consistent experience throughout its chain; the franchisee with increased productivity in a smaller footprint; employees with a politics free workplace environment, and of course customers enjoying the perfect quarter-pounder without the fear of the fry cook’s unwashed hands.
In 1970, no one could predict the impact of the ATM. Today, we stand at the crossroads of a new industrial ROBOTIC revolution. Tomorrow’s fast food may very well be the true automat that serves up anything one desires, even Fondue…