The fast-food chain Shake Shack announced that it will be paying employees $15 an hour but replacing many of them with robots.
Former President Barack Obama in 2014 paid a visit to a Shake Shack location in Washington, D.C. to plug raising the minimum wage. A few short years later, that fast food chain says it is following Obama’s advice, but not everyone will benefit.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Obama’s visit to Shake Shack in 2014:
“President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden used a meeting with workers as an excuse to pop into Shake Shack in Dupont Circle for lunch Friday, and also give a plug for raising the minimum wage and infrastructure spending.”
“Mr. Obama said the visit was because Shake Shake had “great burgers and pays its employees more than 10 bucks an hour.” The White House is currently pushing to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.”
The New York Post reported on Monday that at Shake Shack, “robots will replace humans and cash won’t be accepted at a soon-to-open Shake Shack in the East Village.”
According to Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti, customers will place orders via an app or at touch-screen kiosks inside the restaurant, which will only accept credit cards.
Customers will also be notified via text message when their order is completed.
“The Astor Place Shack will be a playground where we can test and learn the ever-shifting needs of our guests,” Garutti told the Post. “[It] represents our dedication to innovation and to providing the best for our guests and for our teams.”
The New York Post reported that the “staff at the new restaurant will be paid a minimum of $15 an hour in order to attract the best workers.”
But, much of the staff that customers are used to seeing at Shake Shack will now be replaced robots, meaning the company will simply be paying more to fewer employees.
Shake Shack’s move is in line with a recent University of Washington study that found Seattle’s minimum wage hike had resulted in a decline in jobs and hours for workers.
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