Former McDonald's CEO: Robots Are Cheaper Than People at $15/Hour

Christine Rousselle
Posted: May 25, 2016 7:30 AM
Former McDonald's CEO: Robots Are Cheaper Than People at $15/Hour

A former McDonald's CEO had some harsh words for proponents of the #FightFor15: Robots are a heck of a lot cheaper and accurate than you are.

Speaking on Fox Business Network, former CEO Ed Rensi said that the fight for a $15/hour wage was "nonsense" and was going to come at the cost of jobs around the country. According to Rensi, robots exist that are able to do the same jobs as a human, for a much lower cost.

“I was at the National Restaurant Show yesterday and if you look at the robotic devices that are coming into the restaurant industry -- it’s cheaper to buy a $35,000 robotic arm than it is to hire an employee who’s inefficient making $15 an hour bagging French fries -- it’s nonsense and it’s very destructive and it’s inflationary and it’s going to cause a job loss across this country like you’re not going to believe,” said former McDonald’s (MCD) USA CEO Ed Rensi during an interview on the FOX Business Network’s Mornings with Maria.

Here's an example of a robot that can build a hamburger:

Rensi did, however, argue for a staggered minimum wage--one for high school-age students and one for other entry-level workers.

He's completely right. Kiosks are cheaper and more accurate than humans, and they're starting to creep their way into the food industry. Setting a wage at $15/hour (or any other arbitrarily high figure) will not help low-skilled workers--it will just shut them out of a job.