Minimum Wage Massacre: Jack In The Box CEO Says "Just Makes Sense" To Replace Workers With Robots

Jack in the Box CEO Leonard Comma told a room full of attendees at a Tuesday conference that the company is considering replacing cashiers with robots as the minimum wage in California rises. 

"As we see the rising costs of labor, it just makes sense," said Comma. 


Jack in the Box CEO Leonard Comma

The San Diego based fast-food chain says that with California's minimum wage rising to $15 by 2022, automated kiosks and other previously tested technology which was previously failed to pencil out are now economically feasible.


Jack in the Box Kiosk

18 states are raising minimum wage in 2018, including California, with the Golden State scheduled to be the first to hit $15.

Meanwhile, McDonald's and Wendy's have been testing automation to reduce labor costs. McDonald's is adding 2,500 kiosks to its stores, while Wendy's unveiled plans last February to install self-ordering kiosks at 1,000 restaurants - 16% of its locations nationwide

"Last year was tough 5 percent wage inflation," said Bob Wright, Wendy's chief operating officer, during his presentation to investors and analysts. 

Wright noted that over the past two years, Wendy's has figured out how to eliminate 31 hours of labor per week from its restaurants and is now working to use technology, such as kiosks, to increase efficiency.


Wendy's chief information officer, David Trimm, said the kiosks are intended to appeal to younger customers and reduce labor costs. Kiosks also allow customers of the fast food giant to circumvent long lines during peak dining hours while increasing kitchen production.

"With government driving up the cost of labor, it's driving down the number of jobs," then Carl's Jr. and Hardee's CEO Andy Puzder told Business Insider in 2016. "You're going to see automation not just in airports and grocery stores, but in restaurants."

And yesterday at CES, Pizza Hut announced a driverless delivery concept vehicle straight out of Demolition Man (the non-US version of the movie). 

Who could have seen that coming? As we have noted in the past, minimum wage laws - while advertised under the banner of social justice - do not live up to the claims made by those who tout them. They do not lift low wage earners to a so-called social minimum. Indeed, minimum wage laws imposed at the levels employed in Europe push a considerable number of people into unemployment. And, unless those newly unemployed qualify for government assistance (read: welfare), they will sink below, or further below, the social minimum.


As Nobelist Milton Friedman correctly quipped, A minimum wage law is, in reality, a law that makes it illegal for an employer to hire a person with limited skills.

Despite the piling up mountain of evidence on the harmful "unintended consequences" of artificially high minimum wages, we suspect we already know how this story ends. 


Masher1 Wed, 01/10/2018 - 15:11 Permalink

I will never use one of these stupid things, EVER!


Using a kiosk to keep the worker in line and to threaten the shit conditions they are forced into is vile work. Using these machines is a direct assault on the path to a fair and living wage, Everyone is beset with heaps of ever increasing COSTS, and at the same time the entire program is setup to drive wages into the dirt. More cost and less access to those products, Evil that path leads unto.

Boycotting ANY and ALL companies using machines to enhance greed is my only choice, Boycotting these greed based assholes is our only needed vote. Using one of these kiosk's is voting to continue and enhance the enslavement of the worker well in excess of the venue you engaged the machine in.

If you fail to see the tricks these machines enable you are doomed to the world they create.


I guess Zerohedge did in fact fall to the deep state on Dec 28. Too bad.

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 cheka Wed, 01/10/2018 - 17:02 Permalink

I don't eat at any place if a colored person is handling the food. It doesn't matter. Most days I prepare my own meals. Nothing like poached eggs with homemade hollandaise, from fresh ingredients. Good luck getting a robot to make poached eggs and hollandaise! Maybe in 50 years. Now? Not going to happen. Bon appetite!

In reply to by cheka

RAT005 Zero_Ledge Wed, 01/10/2018 - 19:16 Permalink

From post Number 1, there is no such thing as A Fair And Living Wage.  When you realize that, you'll realize the whole rest of your concerns are baseless.  Imagine two businesses in the same area.  Both are facing about a 15% increase in labor costs.  One increases prices 2% to pay for it.  The other invests in automation that has some short payback such as 2-5yrs.  The second is able to leverage the future ROI into lowering prices today by 1% anticipating a little more market share compared to the other shop that will be raising prices to cover costs.  What do you think happens in 5 yrs?  Shop with higher prices shrinks alot, shop with lower prices gets almost all of the market share.

When labor is priced at market rate, the machines have a hard time making a foothold.  When labor is artificially priced above market rate, the machines take over.

What you call A Fair And Living Wage is really a machine subsidy.  Humans had a fair chance to compete and win against the machines and then Dems priced the humans out of the market in a landslide victory for the machines.  Are you suspicious of how such an obvious backwards approach could have ever happened?

In reply to by Zero_Ledge

Omen IV HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Wed, 01/10/2018 - 19:09 Permalink

it is clear to have illegals not deported no matter what their title = is a decision for WELFARE INCREASING EXPONTENTIALLY

in return for votes for  Democrats - - there will be no jobs on the low end = equal to the illegal plus legal immigrants supply

they will demand and democrats will fund huge increase in:

Section - 8 Housing

food stamps

outright welfare payments


public education for 2 ---12 kids per womb

make work government jobs

affirmative action allocation of real jobs



the end of this society is at hand

In reply to by HRH of Aquitaine 2.0

Deep Snorkeler Bigly Wed, 01/10/2018 - 16:09 Permalink

America 2025

1. robots are taxed at high rates to pay for

all the unemployed workers.

2. vast hordes of unemployed people

become poets, analysts, writers and artists, flooding

ZH with high level intellectual posts.

3. formal education is deemed unnecessary and

without value. Everyone is fat, lazy and can't spell good.

In reply to by Bigly

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Nostradumbass Wed, 01/10/2018 - 17:05 Permalink

I agree. Nor are they preparing food, on the floor. Great video a few weeks ago on Tommy Sotomayor's channel showing some coloreds trying to make chicken. On the floor. Terrible cross contamination, too. I never eat anyplace that has coloreds behind the counter or making food. They don't have the same standards as people that are educated and civilized.

In reply to by Nostradumbass

Chuck Walla BaBaBouy Wed, 01/10/2018 - 17:26 Permalink

The minimum wage is now and always has been 0.  But this will create an ever more faithful Democrat voter base as if these people ever voted GOP or even voted at all. 


“Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good.”


~ Thomas Sowell 

In reply to by BaBaBouy

Stackers Masher1 Wed, 01/10/2018 - 15:14 Permalink

Used a self order Kiosk at Wendy's in Norfolk a couple of months ago. People lined up 5 deep at the counter, and I walked up and placed my order immediately with the "robot"

My favorite airport bar is in Minneapolis Intl'. I-pads at the table let you order and pay. Then 10mins later someone walks out with your food and drinks.

In reply to by Masher1

rf80412 Ignatius Wed, 01/10/2018 - 16:22 Permalink

Shareholders don't care if Jack in the Box sells food or not.  Just look at the tech sector: you can run a company that produces nothing for a surprisingly long time on nothing but debt, venture capital, and making all the right noises in your press releases.  And since both shareholders and senior management are fungible, once one company collapses, they can just as easily shift to another.  I read somewhere that Candy Crush was/is worth more than all of Africa: hate facts aside, there's no direct connection between a company's business and its value anymore.

In reply to by Ignatius