Big fast-food companies like White Castle and Chipotle are using robots to greet customers, flip hamburgers, and make coffee instead of hiring human workers.
At least 100 White Castle locations are now testing the Flippy robot, just as 1,200 Starbucks stores have $18,000 AI-powered espresso machines. In addition, Chipotle uses a single-arm robot to produce tortilla chips at 73 locations.
As the news spread online, netizens had mixed reactions. One Twitter user @trillvillhou wrote:
“Brother Pay People More”
Netizens are expressing disbelief over how Chipotle and White Castle are dealing with labor shortages with the help of robots.
According to a recent survey by the National Restaurant Association, since the 2020 COVID-19 outbreak, four out of five operators are understaffed.
White Castle is testing its Flippy robot at 100 sites. This robotic arm fries hundreds of hamburgers and fries on a variety of menus every day. Interestingly, the monthly cost of a robot is $3,000. David Henkes, director of restaurant research firm Technomics, said:
“I think a lot of experience will get us somewhere at some point, but we’re still a labor-intensive, labor-intensive industry.”
However, experts are not entirely convinced and think it will be some time before robots completely replace human employment.
Expressing similar sentiments, Twitteratis also took to the platform to voice their opinions on the matter, with the majority of users saying that low wages are a contributing factor to the growing unemployment problem. Meanwhile, other people took the opportunity to create memes to comment that the situation was funny.