Why robots may soon replace fast-food employees

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Imagine if the assembly line at your local McDonald’s was as automated as the ones that make cars in Detroit

Farfetched? A new report from financial services firm Cornerstone Capital Group makes a solid case that humans behind the counter may be going the way of the McD.L.T. The chief factors are a climate change-induced spiking of food prices, the uncertain consequences of Obamacare — which could boost the costs of employees — and income distribution trends, which are “increasingly a point of social and political contention.”

Since labor and food costs account for 60% to 70% of industry revenues, those factors threaten a category that already operates on slim profit margins. Raising prices isn’t a viable option since fast food is such a price-sensitive segment. Still, John Wilson, head of corporate governance, engagement and research at Cornerstone Capital, said we shouldn’t expect to see automated kitchens for another decade or so. On the other hand, we’re already seeing mobile apps that let customers order their food ahead of time, and then pick it up at the counter, potentially making cashiers redundant. …

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Via: Mashable: Business

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