It is expected, with the current progress in technology, that robots will pretty soon be doing more things that were once unique to humans. Food deliveries will soon be done by machines, and cars will soon need no human drivers to function. Soon, maybe even restaurants will be fully manned by robots.
For Carl's Jr. and Hardee's CEO Andy Puzder, the idea of having a restaurant with an all-machine staff is not a bad idea. In fact, after visiting Eatsa, one of the world's first fully-automated restaurants that employs just a handful of kitchen workers alongside a full-on machine staff, Puzder stated that he would like to explore the idea further.
"I want to try it. We could have a restaurant that's focused on all-natural products and is much like an Eatsa, where you order on a kiosk, you pay with a credit or debit card, your order pops up, and you never see a person," he said.
Part of the reason behind the Carl's Jr. CEO's interest in an all-robot restaurant is the continuing rise in the cost of labor. As a vocal voice against the initiatives to raise the minimum wage in America, Puzder firmly asserted that a rise in minimum wage would equate to a rise in automation.
"With government driving up the cost of labor, it's driving down the number of jobs. You're going to see automation not just in airports and grocery stores, but in restaurants. If you're making labor more expensive, and automation less expensive, this is not rocket science," he said.
Of course, the technology required to fully run a restaurant using machines is still under development. For Puzder, however, the technology would be well worth the wait. After all, considering the fact that robots are more efficient than humans by nature, the pros in utilizing machines in the workplace far outweigh the cons.
"They're always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there's never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race discrimination case," he said.
Having a restaurant fully manned by robots might not be an attractive idea for many, especially since having a restaurant without any human staff would probably foster less human contact than what is healthy. According to the CEO, however, having little interaction in restaurants is no problem at all.
"Millennials like not seeing people. I've been inside restaurants where we've installed ordering kiosks and I've actually seen young people waiting in line to use the kiosk where there's a person standing behind the counter, waiting on nobody," Puzder said.