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Chipotle Tests Robotics as California’s Minimum Wage Law Goes into Effect

One way to get around California’s new minimum wage law is to have robots do most of the work. AB 257 was signed previously and granted the “Fast Food Council” the ability to raise the minimum wage to as high as $22. per hour if they deemed it necessary. It only applies to restaurants that have at least 100 locations throughout the United  States. Chipotle has 450 restaurants in California alone. So rather than fork over that much money for workers, they are testing robots for some of the more difficult tasks.

Meet “Chippy” the robotic chip maker

Fast food chains fought hard against the legislation, but lost the battle. Chipotle had already boosted its minimum wage to between $11 and $18, according to the Daily Wire.

“The new kitchen management system has alleviated manual tasks for our crew and given restaurant managers the tools they need to make informed in-the-moment decisions, ultimately enabling them to focus on an exceptional culinary and an outstanding guest experience,” Chief Technology Officer Curt Garner said in a statement.

This isn’t Chipotle’s first foray into AI. Earlier this year, Chipotle announced a test with Miso Robotics to bring its artificial intelligence-driven Chippy into its Cultivate [innovation] Center to replicate the chain’s signature tortilla chips. That test is now expanding, with Chippy making its first restaurant debut next month in a Fountain Valley, California, location…

The company is also currently testing Radius Networks’ Flybuy, a “contextual restaurant program,” at 73 Cleveland-area restaurants designed to identify Chipotle app users’ intent upon arrival. The location-based technology utilizes real-time data to let customers know their orders are ready, to remind them to scan the Chipotle Rewards QR code at checkout and more. It even alerts customers if they’re in the wrong pick-up location.

Forbes

How will this affect job availablity? Eventually…huge. And at a time when the Biden administration has signed orders allowing illegals more access to American jobs. As more fast food restaurants do this, eventually the job market will be slim for the usual summertime youth markets.

“A small restaurant owner may not have the cash flow to invest in the automated equipment. The larger corporations do. As the big chains buy the equipment, the price is likely to fall and become affordable for the smaller fast food outlets. Within a few years there will be fewer jobs for unskilled laborers.” Daily Wire response to a comment

Chipotle is not the only fast food chain experimenting with AI or robotics:  White Castle, Jamba Juice, and others are using higher technology in the fast food game. As the world of technology increases exponentially, the number of available jobs decreases.  With the current trend of lazy workers grows, the difficulty of finding good workers also grows. You can spin it any way you’d like, but the bottom line is that automation is a necessary ingredient to many of the industries in America. And our school systems should stop teaching wokeism and start creating skilled workers.

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Faye Higbee

Faye Higbee is the columnist manager for Uncle Sam's Misguided Children. She has been writing at Conservative Firing Line since 2013 as well. She is also a published author.

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