The Robots Are Coming… to Make a Cheeseburger & Deliver a Pizza

Date: March 20, 2016
Author: Susanne Posel

The robots might to coming to take the jobs of Carl’s Jr. employees after the chief executive officer, Andy Puzder told the media that he “could have a restaurant that’s focused on all-natural products and is much like an Eatsa, where you order on a kiosk, you pay with a credit or debit card, your order pops up, and you never see a person.”

Puzder said robots would be a cheaper alternative because “they’re always polite, always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there’s never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race discrimination case.”

In addition, Puzder said that since “Millennials like not seeing people. I’ve been inside restaurants where we’ve installed ordering kiosks… and I’ve actually seen young people waiting in line to use the kiosk where there’s a person standing behind the counter, waiting on nobody.”

Customers took to Twitter to voice their opinion about a fully automated fast-food chain which turned out to be bad press for Carl’s Jr.

@TerminatorBarbi tweeted : “.@CarlsJr Your Super-Star “was” my favorite burger. Today your CEO threatened the American worker over political race.”

@marriothill tweeted : “#CarlsJr #Hardees jerk of a CEO…..”

@VirlDailyClick tweeted : “#CarlsJR CEO wants robot workers instead of paying #millennials a fair wage. #innovation”

@GlennRileyWork tweeted : “Yeah that #CarlsJr business model w/ no humans works fine, til I start taking 500 cups, straws and napkins per visit. #WeAllKnowYoureHardees”

Kate Franklin, representative for CKE, the parent corporation of Carl’s Jr, explained that Pudzer’s “comments about the potential use of automation in the retail sector have been taken out of context. His point was simply that large increases in the minimum wage would result in fewer jobs—which would be a bad thing for entry-level workers—in part because automation becomes a more viable option if wages accelerate too rapidly. CKE Restaurants greatly values its dedicated workforce and has no plans to fully automate its restaurants.”

And as the Carl’s Jr. controversy wages on, Domino’s Pizza is testing a pizza delivery robot in Australia and other countries that will bring a hot pizza to customers using military-grade technology.

The prototype is in its beta phase and resigned to working specific neighborhoods while under the testing period.

The robot can travel 12.4 miles per hour and weighs about 450 pounds. The robot uses self-driving car sensors to maneuver around obstacles and arrive at its destination without problems.

Domino’s has quietly invested in robotic technology to improve their ability to deliver hot pizza to customers with their Delivery eXPert (DXP) car.

This is a modified Chevrolet Spark outfitted with a warming oven and space for 80 pizzas, sides, two-liter bottles of soda and dipping sauces.

With the help of Roush Enterprises, a developer for the Google self-driving car, and Local Motors, the manufacturer of a 3D printed vehicle, have collaborated with Domino’s to design the DXP which currently has 100 cars in production.

By the end of 2016, the company expects to deploy these cars in cities such as Boston, Detroit, Houston, New Orleans, San Diego, and Seattle.