Videos by OutKick
The fast food industry has already been trending towards automation. If you’re a consumer of it, you’ve almost certainly noticed that many locations do everything they can to get you to order from an app or one of their touchscreens instead of from a person at the register. The next wave of that is coming in the form of robot cooks.
White Castle CEO Lisa Ingram spoke to CNBC about their progress on that front — the video also includes footage of “Flippy” the robot flipping burgers and making french fries:
White Castle is looking to introduce "Flippy," an autonomous kitchen assistant to mitigate difficulties with reopening restaurants during the coronavirus pandemic. Could the new strategy represent a trend that affects jobs long term? pic.twitter.com/xjYaFdUCLF
— CNBC (@CNBC) July 15, 2020
Ingram was asked the question on everyone’s mind: What does this mean for jobs? “We believe that this is a way for us to enhance the jobs in our castles,” Ingram said, mentioning that through innovations like touchscreens and freestyle self-serve soda fountains they’ve been able to “re-deploy” their workforce to other roles.
As minimum wage rises, it’s unfortunately a safe bet that the usage of robot workers will accelerate.
Projecting out forward 10-15 years, it’s almost impossible to see industries like fast food and trucking employing as many people as they do now considering where automation is heading. That might even happen on a sooner time horizon. This is something we should be actively thinking about as a society now — when everyone see the problem coming, but it’s not devastatingly here yet — to try to come up with solutions for other jobs that the people getting replaced by artificial intelligence can do.