Tags: Shake Shack | cashless | restaurant | minimum wage

Shake Shack to Open Cashless Restaurant Without Human Cashiers

Shake Shack to Open Cashless Restaurant Without Human Cashiers
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Wednesday, 04 October 2017 03:29 PM

Shake Shack, the burger chain founded by renowned chef Danny Meyer, plans to open a restaurant in Manhattan that will replace humans with robots and won’t accept cash, the New York Post reported.

Diners can place orders from a mobile application and at touch-screen kiosks inside the restaurant, which will open later this month on Astor Place in the East Village neighborhood, company CEO Randy Garutti told the newspaper.

“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.”

“Hospitality champs” will guide diners through the ordering process at the kiosks, which only accept credit cards or smartphone payments. The restaurant won’t have traditional cashiers or an order-placing area.

The burger joint will notify customers by text message when their orders are ready to be picked up at a counter.

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.

Staff at the new restaurant will be paid a minimum of $15 an hour, Garutti said. New York is transitioning toward a $15 minimum wage by the end of 2019.

The new Shake Shack will have dining rooms and waiting areas similar to other New York City branches.

Self-checkout machines were only the beginning of replacing human workers with machines at retail stores.

The U.S. economy has lost about 71,000 retail jobs since the beginning of the year as routine tasks become automated and thousands of stores close because of competition from e-commerce companies like Amazon.

Nearly 16 million people, or 11 percent of non-farm U.S. jobs, are in the retail industry, making it bigger than the factory sector, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

One Wal-Mart worker profiled by the newspaper learned last year that her $13-an-hour job of counting cash would be replaced by a machine. The Cash360 machine would count eight bills a second, 3,000 coins a minute and digitally deposit money at the bank to earn interest faster. The worker, a 10-year Wal-Mart veteran, was reassigned to a store greeter job for the same pay.

“The role of service and customer-facing associates will always be there,” Judith McKenna, Wal-Mart’s U.S. chief operating officer, told the WSJ. But “there are interesting developments in technology that mean those roles shift and change over time.”

Seattle's $15-an-hour minimum wage law cost the city jobs, according to a study published in June.

A University of Washington team studying the law's effects found that the law has boosted pay in low-wage jobs since it took effect in 2015, but that it also caused a 9 percent reduction in hours worked, The Seattle Times reported. For an average low-wage Seattle worker, that's a loss of about $125 per month, the study said.

"If you're a low-skilled worker with one of those jobs, $125 a month is a sizable amount of money," said Mark Long, one of the authors. "It can be the difference between being able to pay your rent and not being able to pay your rent."

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Shake Shack, the burger chain founded by renowned chef Danny Meyer, plans to open a restaurant in Manhattan that will replace humans with robots and won't accept cash, the New York Post reported.
Shake Shack, cashless, restaurant, minimum wage
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2017-29-04
Wednesday, 04 October 2017 03:29 PM
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