Automation is having a significant impact on the fast food industry, transforming the way restaurants operate and how they serve their customers. For instance, many fast food restaurants are implementing self-service kiosks, allowing customers to place their orders and pay without the need for a cashier. This reduces the need for staffing and speeds up the ordering process.
Automation is also being used to replace or assist human workers in the kitchen; machines are being used to cook food, dispense ingredients, and assemble meals, reducing the need for human labor and increasing efficiency. Often however, this ends up
Some fast food chains are experimenting with delivery robots, which can be used to transport food from the restaurant to customers’ homes or offices. These delivery robots, combined with third party app companies eliminates reduce labor costs and increase delivery speed but bring a host of new issues that management must contend with.
One goal of automation is to reduce staffing levels. Often however, in the drive to reduce costs, staffing gets trimmed, experienced workers let go and replaced with trainees, and more work is piled on those still on staff. So while automation may be helping fast food restaurants reduce costs and increase efficiency, it is also raising concerns about its impact on the workforce.
The truth is that job roles are changing dramatically in both the “front of house” as well as the “back of house”. Managers who once had an admin assistants are now their own admins and work that was once divvied up among three jobs now falls on one worker. Entry level jobs that were once considered as low-skill such as ‘flipping burgers’ are now more complicated even as there very existence is threatened. In reality “flipping burgers” is quite demanding work as most chain restaurants are high-pressure “factories” optimized for quick production of meals with the minimum staff. It is not easy work. Many people can’t keep up the pace and perform all that is demanded.
Here are 5 more ways workers are adversely affected by advances restaurant automation:
- Job displacement: Automation can lead to a reduction in the number of jobs available for workers, as machines replace human labor. This can lead to job losses and economic insecurity for workers.
- Changes in job roles: With the implementation of automation technology, the nature of fast food jobs may change, requiring workers to develop new skills or take on different responsibilities. Workers may need to adapt to new technologies and work alongside machines, which can be challenging and stressful.
- Reduced hours and wages: As automation reduces the need for human labor, workers may see a reduction in their hours or wages, as businesses seek to cut costs.
- Lack of job security: With the increasing prevalence of automation in the fast food industry, workers may feel that their jobs are less secure and that they are more easily replaceable.
- Increased surveillance: Automation can also lead to an increase in surveillance and monitoring of workers. For example, workers may be required to wear tracking devices or have their work monitored by cameras or software, leading to concerns about privacy and worker autonomy.