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Carl’s Jr. CEO wants our robot overlords to run a fast-food restaurant

by Todd Haselton | March 18, 2016March 18, 2016 6:56 am PST


Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE, the restaurant company that owns Hardees and Carl’s Jr., recently said he wants to open a fast-food restaurant that’s employed by, well, nobody at all. Turns out the CEO thinks that employees are too expensive and wants to give robots a chance.

“With government driving up the cost of labor, it’s driving down the number of jobs,” Puzder told Business Insider “You’re going to see automation not just in airports and grocery stores, but in restaurants.” Puzder imagines a restaurant where folks pick out their food at a kiosk, pay for it and pick it up.

Kind of sounds like a buffet without anyone standing at the cash register, but Puzder wants his robotic workforce grilling burgers, too, since automated chefs would be much more reliable than humans. “They’re always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there’s never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race discrimination case,” Puzder said.

We imagine someone needs to double check quality controls, make sure those grilled burgers aren’t getting infested with flies (would a robot see that?) and aren’t just dropping orders all over the floor. Sounds like we’ll need more engineers.

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...