Obama Pitched A Higher Minimum Wage At A Shake Shack, Now They're Considering Replacing Workers With Robots

Posted: Oct 03, 2017 7:30 PM
Obama Pitched A Higher Minimum Wage At A Shake Shack, Now They're Considering Replacing Workers With Robots

Oh, the politics of minimum wage and its radioactive side effects it has concerning business. We’ve seen it from New York to Seattle; minimum wage increases suck and they hurt workers. Seattle’s battle has been quite intense, with the former Mayor Ed Murray seemingly colluding with UC Berkeley to put forward a competing study showing that the city’s phased-in $15/hour minimum wage increase was good for the city. The University of Washington was already working on a report that was less than flattering, detailing lost job opportunities fewer hours, and less money being taken home by workers. Murray resigned earlier this month after allegations of child molestation were brought against him.

In New York, 1,000 restaurants have closed thanks to their minimum wage hike, with workers also working fewer hours and taking home less pay. In Montgomery County, Maryland, 47,000 jobs could be cannibalized by 2022 if they decide to hike the minimum wage to $15/hour. It’s bad policy, but Democrats think it makes for good politics, even though the middle class and white working class whites aren’t looking to be locked into minimum wage jobs to provide for their families.

Still, former president Barack Obama thought minimum wage hikes were a good idea. Of course, he did. And he pitched his plan while visiting Shake Shack in D.C. 2014. Now, the fast food chain is considering replacing workers with robots. The New York City location will be the testing ground:

Customers will place orders via an app and at touch-screen kiosks inside the restaurant, which is scheduled to open an Astor Place branch later this month, according to company CEO Randy Garutti.

Workers dubbed “hospitality champs” will guide diners through possible tech glitches as they place orders at the kiosks, which only accept credit cards.

Diners can also pay on smartphones and tablets using the restaurant’s app.

“The Astor Place Shack will be a playground where we can test and learn the ever-shifting needs of our guests,” Garutti said. “[It] represents our dedication to innovation and to providing the best for our guests and for our teams.”


The chain plans to use the Astor Place branch as a testing ground for the cashless kiosk model, which eliminates the job of cashier. It also gets rid of its traditional order placing area.

So, maybe the rule of thumb is when liberals pitch economic policy—run. When Obama is the main salesman, sprint to the exits.