Former McDonald’s CEO Ed Rensi appeared on Fox Business Network and warned progressive groups against $15 per hour minimum-wage hikes.
“I was at the National Restaurant Show yesterday and if you look at the robotic devices that are coming into the restaurant industry — it’s cheaper to buy a $35,000 robotic arm than it is to hire an employee who’s inefficient [while] making $15 an hour bagging French fries,” Rensi said Tuesday.
“It’s nonsense and it’s very destructive and it’s inflationary and it’s going to cause a job loss across this country like you’re not going to believe,” Rensi added.
Already, several fast food restaurant chains in America have invested in self-serving kiosks, in response to the wage-hikes won by the far-left protest movement.
Last February, McDonald’s rolled out its “Create Your Taste” touchscreen kiosks, which allow customers to customize their own meals and burgers. In April 2014, Panera unveiled its “Panera 2.0” initiative which included kiosks.
Rensi, a Donald Trump supporter, said automation will eventually replace low-skill workers in markets that extend beyond fast food.
“It’s not just going to be in the fast food business,” the 70-year-old executive said. “Franchising is the best business model in the United States. It’s dependent on people that have low job skills that have to grow. Well, if you can’t get people a reasonable wage, you’re going to get machines to do the work. It’s just common sense.”
Rensi said automation is “going to happen, whether you like it or not,” adding that calls for wage hikes will only make it “happen faster.”
His solution, scrap the federal minimum wage and allow states to seek solutions to the issue.
“I think we ought to have a multi-faceted wage program in this country,” Rensi said. “If you’re a high school kid, you ought to have a student wage. If you’re an entry level worker you ought to have a separate wage. The states ought to manage this because they know more about what’s going on the ground than anybody in Washington D.C.”
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