Shortage of fast food workers is speeding automation, higher wages and higher prices

Fast-food wages began rising in 2014, and have been increasing faster than overall wages.

* US unemployment is at a 17-year low which is causing all businesses to struggle to find workers.
* In 2000, about 45 percent of those between 16 and 19 had a job — today it’s 30 percent.
* Wages are at $10.93 per hour and are heading towards the $15/hour wages that are being required by some states. In New York, minimum wage for fast food workers is increasing to $13.50 this year and $15 in 2021.

Teenagers have to spend more time studying for higher education. It is financially better to load up on more classes and shave a semester or two from a degree than to spend any time on a fast food job. High school kids could take extra community college classes to get more university credits.

There are about 3.7 million Americans working in the fast-food industry.

Ordering kiosks are common in Europe for fast food and are being installed by the thousands in the USA.

Installing ordering kiosks costs between $50,000-60,000. Half of U.S. McDonald’s will have the self-serve kiosks by the end of 2018, at a cost of about $2.4 billion, which also includes opening 1,000 new locations.

$35,000 robotic arms will start to replace people making $15 an hour bagging French fries.

There is also the increased use of apps for ordering. Upselling via the app can increase sales by 30%.

Restaurants have been increasing by about 2% per year.

Automation in cooking

Various new restaurants are opening with robotic cooking and assembly lines in the kitchen.

Drones and self-driving

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