2 Stocks Set To Dominate The Next Trend In Automation

We’re seeing a true rise of the machines.

The quest to boost the nationwide minimum wage may be backfiring.

Fast food restaurants are leading a new rebellion to circumvent higher minimum wages, which includes doing away with low-wage workers altogether.

They are rolling out self-serve kiosks and this could be just the beginning. Wendy’s (NYSE: WEN) announced this month that it will have self-serve kiosks in many of its restaurants by 2017. McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) has already been testing self-serve kiosks, dubbing them “Create Your Taste.” Panera (NASDAQ: PNRA) started rolling out self-service kiosks in 2014.

Even Chili’s installed self-service tablets on its tables and Cinemark (NYSE: CNK) has kiosks in its theaters. The list goes on and on, but the trend has only just begun when it comes to fast food.

Half of the minimum wage worker population are in the food service business. That’s a big opportunity for cost savings among fast food companies if they adopt self-serve kiosks and other technologies. CKE Restaurants, owner of Carl’s Jr and Hardee’s, is even exploring a restaurant that has no employees at all.

Individuals, especially Millennials, are becoming increasingly more comfortable in dealing with technology, and, in most cases, customers would rather deal with kiosks than humans.

Kiosks help remove social friction and worries over mispronunciation or being judged by checkout clerks. It’s also been found that the average check size from kiosk orders are higher, where kiosks never forget to up-sell customers.

Although this seems like a negative for the working population, it’s a win for companies looking to make more money. Let’s face it, it is hard to beat a good machine — it doesn’t call in sick, it’s never late for work, and will not complain about being overworked and underpaid. They also don’t mess up orders.

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