$15 Minimum Wage in the Age of Self-Service Kiosks

There’s a massive labor shift on the horizon, and it goes by the name of “automation.”

What is automation? Automation (sometimes called “automatic control”) is the use of various control systems, like the digital kiosks we produce at REDYREF, to minimize or reduce human interaction. The biggest benefit of automation is that it saves labor, and can therefore reduce costs, but it is also used to increase quality outcomes by allowing for greater accuracy by reducing human error.

Most still view automation as something in the fuzzy, distant future.  They can see it coming, but don’t expect the impact anytime soon.  But the truth is that it’s much closer to becoming reality than many people likely realize.

Why has the conversation around automation suddenly gained steam?  There are a number of reasons:

  • $15 minimum wage for fast-food workers in New York signaling a sea change that will greatly impact the way restaurants will need to do business going forward in order to remain profitable
  • Success of major retail brands such as Starbucks and Panera rolling out customer-driven ordering processes that have seen positive consumer responses
  • Quickly advancing research into and testing of driverless car technology by industry titans such as Google and Apple rising to the media forefront, therefore allowing automation to gain traction in the consumer consciousness
  • The need for all consumer-facing businesses -- retail and restaurant in particular -- to find additional ways to mitigate some of the costs associated with human labor, especially human labor at a minimum cost of $15 an hour.  These include the usual suspects, such as wages and benefits, but also factor in such things as absenteeism and human error, as well as health and safety issues that can result from any process that requires multiple human touch points

Over the next few weeks, we’ll take each of these issues and deconstruct them, while discussing the overall impact they will have on the digital kiosk and signage industry,  as well as our customers.

Want to know how REDYREF can help move your business toward a greater level of automation? Simply submit a request for proposal online or call (800) 628-3603 today for more information.

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