Tags: Ed Rensi | McDonalds | Cheaper | Robots | Minimum Wage

Ex-CEO of McDonald's: Cheaper to Buy $35K Robot Than Pay $15 Per Hour

(Fox Business Network/"Mornings with Maria")

By    |   Wednesday, 25 May 2016 08:57 AM

Former CEO of McDonald's Ed Rensi said a proposed $15 minimum wage would drive restaurants to use automation more, and hire fewer workers.

During an interview on Fox Business Network's "Mornings with Maria" program, Rensi slammed the idea of raising the minimum wage, saying, "If a $15 minimum wage goes into effect across the country, you're going to see job loss like you can't believe."

Adding that "it's cheaper to buy a $35,000 robotic arm than it is to hire an employee who's inefficient making $15 an hour bagging french fries."

Bureau of Labor Statistics figures show about 3 million workers, 3.9 percent of all hourly paid workers, made the current $7.25 minimum wage or less, and 1.7 million had wages below the minimum wage, while 1.3 million had wages at the minimum wage level, reports Fox Business.

Rensi began his career at McDonald's in 1966 and became CEO in 1991. He presided over the development of Chicken McNuggets and the restaurant's breakfast menu.

The former CEO said automation will be the result of a higher minimum wage because "if you can't get people a reasonable wage, you're going to get machines to do the work. It's just common sense, it's going to happen whether you like it or not."

Rensi favored the idea of leaving minimum wage up to the states and eliminating a federal minimum, saying, "The states ought to decide what the minimum wage is based on cost of living in the regions they're in."

Rensi also believes the minimum wage debate is "a sham and it's destroying this country" because low-wage employers, such as fast-food restaurants, shouldn't be focused on minimum wage, but on training employees to grow.

"They shouldn't be minimum-wage workers their entire life. That's wrong," Rensi told the program.

The Christian Science Monitor
reports a minimum-wage increase in Portland to $10.10 has led to unemployment below 3 percent and "the sky has not fallen," according to restaurant lobbyist Greg Dugal.

Rensi has been vocal in the minimum-wage debate, including writing an article in Forbes, in which he places blame on union organizers for the $15 minimum wage proposal.

"I suspect the labor organizers behind this campaign for a $15 minimum wage are less interested in helping employees, and more interested in helping themselves to dues money from their paycheck," Rensi said.

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Former CEO of McDonald's Ed Rensi said a proposed $15 minimum wage would drive restaurants to use automation more, and hire fewer workers.
Ed Rensi, McDonalds, Cheaper, Robots, Minimum Wage
Wednesday, 25 May 2016 08:57 AM
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