In the latest skirmish in a year-and-a-half-long war for higher wages, fast food workers in the United States are staging a 150-city-wide protest — and taking their fight overseas.Then, you get this:
Fast food workers in at least 33 countries and 80 cities on six continents will join their U.S.-based counterparts, for an expected 230 strikes and protests worldwide, from Seoul to San Salvador, from Brussels to Bangkok, from Auckland to Casablanca. Early in the day, the campaign’s website, FastFoodGlobal.org, showed photos of protesting workers in Hong Kong, Mumbai, Denmark and Bandung, Indonesia.
U.S. workers are demanding $15 an hour — about double the federal minimum wage — in cities such as Oakland, New York City and Raleigh, with first-time protests in Miami, Orlando, Philadelphia and Sacramento. Targeted establishments include McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and KFC.
McDonalds recently went on a hiring binge in the U.S., adding 62,000 employees to its roster. The hiring picture doesn't look quite so rosy for Europe, where the fast food chain is drafting 7,000 touch-screen kiosks to handle cashiering duties.It's also cheaper than paying cashiers $15/hour. But there's an added benefit:
The move is designed to boost efficiency and make ordering more convenient for customers.
In an interview with the Financial Times, McDonald's Europe President Steve Easterbrook notes that the new system will also open up a goldmine of data. McDonald's could potentially track every Big Mac, McNugget, and large shake you order.All that data is a beautiful thing if you're a marketer. You can send coupons or special offers to customers as an additional incentive to visit your location. There are any number of jobs that once took a human being to do that may no longer exist. And remember, cashiers aren't the only jobs that could go away:
Hamburgers are a multi-billion dollar business, and while fast food chains have got the process down to an efficient production line process, making them is still labor intensive with armies of burger flippers and sandwich assemblers. In a move that could put millions of teenagers around the world out of their first job, Momentum Machines is creating a hamburger-making machine that churns out made-to-order burgers at industrial speeds and aims to use it in its own chain of restaurants.And it's not just fast fooders. You see automatic checkout lanes in more and more places. Recently a new Walmart opened in Roseville, a few miles from my house. They have about a half-dozen automatic check-out kiosks, which are able to take cash and dispense change, along with taking plastic. The automatic check-out lanes are already in place at grocery stores as well. You can't get $15/hour for a job that no longer exists.