Key Takeaways
  • White Castle has begun implementing 100 robots to start cooking burgers within a third of their stores.
  • White Castle’s rationale behind this installation of artificial intelligence is to lower costs and allocate the human workers to another part of the store. 
  • Automation is increasing within the service industry, and the increase has both its benefits and disadvantages. 
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The implementation of artificial intelligence has become increasingly popular within the fast-food industry. Companies such as McDonald’s have already begun the usage of robots to help them create higher levels of efficiency. Consequently, White Castle has decided to follow in similar footsteps, as they have purchased 100 robots to be installed in a third of their stores.  

 

What Led to White Castle Hiring Robots

 

The fast-food chain started to lean towards implementing artificial intelligence for two main reasons: lowering costs and allocating human workers to work elsewhere within the store.

 

Lowering Costs

 

In fast-food restaurants, typically, the turnover rate for employees is high, and companies are struggling to find long-term employees. Therefore, new employees are hired often, and there are significant costs associated with their job training period.

 

However, with robots operating the cooking aspect in the White Castle restaurants, there are fewer costs regarding the maintenance of the robots rather than having humans work the same station.

 

Image Credit: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

 

Allocating Human Workers Elsewhere

 

White Castle is automating a portion of its workforce because they wish to allocate their workers elsewhere. Robots working to prepare and cook the meals will boost the store's efficiency, and it allows the human employees to be more present on the front line. 

 

By being on the front line, the employees can engage in more customer service interactions, which will potentially aid in creating a better experience for the consumer and increase the chances of them returning.

 

Effects of Advancing Automation

 

Advancing automation within the fast-food industry has many positive benefits and negative effects. 

 

The main benefit is that automation results in higher productivity, benefiting consumers to receive their products sooner. In addition, it satisfies the company as they can serve more customers in a shorter amount of time.

 

On the other hand, the main harmful component of automation is the lack of working opportunities in the service industry. Robots work faster, harder, and more efficiently than most human workers, resulting in more revenue generated for the company. However, automation threatens the job market as many employees within the service industry will soon be left without a job as they cannot compete with the pace of robots.

 

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

 

The installation of robots in restaurants is becoming more common. In 2021, a record number of 29,000 robots were purchased off assembly lines by American companies due to a worker shortage

 

As this worker shortage led to a number of industrial robots being installed, many companies began seeing the upside of automating their workforce. However, with more companies opting for using robots to replace the tasks done by humans, this will ultimately leave human workers in the service industry without a job.

 

What are your thoughts on automation within the service industry? Do you believe that it will negatively impact workers' chances of finding a job? Please share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.

 

Main Image Credit: Eric Glenn / Shutterstock.com

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