Carl's Jr. CEO Readies Robot Workforce to Counter Rising Wages

LJ Ellis

New member
Mar 3, 2016
Carl's Jr. CEO Readies Robot Workforce to Counter Rising Wages


The fast food industry in the United States currently employs approximately five million human beings, however the CEO of Carl's Jr. wants to change that. Andy Puzder, who is also the CEO of Hardee's, believes that he has no choice but to swap humans for robots.

Said Puzder: "With government driving up the cost of labor, it's driving down the number of jobs. You're going to see automation not just in airports and grocery stores, but in restaurants."

"If you're making labor more expensive, and automation less expensive - this is not rocket science."

The 65-year-old CEO bemoans current and future minimum wage increases, and isn't shy about pointing fingers at the political figures he believes are responsible.

"This is the problem with Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton, and progressives who push very hard to raise the minimum wage. Does it really help if Sally makes $3 more an hour if Suzie has no job?" asked Puzder, rhetorically.

Not only does Puzder see robots as a cheaper alternative to human employees, he also pointed to other advantages of an automated workforce.

"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," he explained.

Carl's Jr. and Hardee's have more than 3,000 locations in the United States.

Source: Business Insider []


American Fox

Le Best Tank
Aug 14, 2012
So the solution is to fire both Sally and Susie for SAL-1E, after making a statement pretending to be worried about either of them. You fucking turds need to be taken out of your CEO towers.


New member
Mar 26, 2011
Let me play the world's smallest violin for you, Mr. Multi-millionaire whose entire family is setup for generations. Why don't you try living on minimum wage for a month and then see if raising that by 3 measly dollars helps or not. Rich, disconnected asshole. If you're not going to pay your workers a living wage then yeah, they are better off without a job, and I truly hope they take their services to an employer that will pay them fairly.

I'd bet good money that if you raised prices by a few cents per item you could afford it too. Back during the healthcare debate, Papa Johns claimed that it would be prohibitively expensive to provide all of their workers with healthcare. Turns out, you just need to raise prices by something like a dollar per pizza. I'll pay a dollar more for a $25 pizza if it means people get heath coverage. These are not poor, barely-getting-by mom and pop businesses. These are multi-million dollar entities. Most of the "if you raise wages I'll fire people" arguments are complete BS. They just don't want to take the tiniest hit in profits to actually provide for their workers.

I will say that, as much as I love robotics and what it can do for humanity, this is something we need to be *very* vigilant about. Especially in the US where corporatism has run amok to such a degree. If you think Carls Jr is the only company that is chomping at the bit to replace its workforce with robots, you're kidding themselves. Even if they *don't* raise the minimum wage, robots would be a cheaper option. At the end of the day, corporations are not moral entities. They are amoral machines, and their only goal is to maximize profits. If replacing your staff with robots will maximize profits, they will do it. He's just bringing up minimum wage to make a petty political point and shift the blame.

Definitely going to need some laws to prevent this kind of crap over the next few decades or there's going to be some serious unemployment issues in low-wage jobs. A lot of fast-food chains already outsource their drive-through order-taking to call centers (some of which are overseas) so that they don't have to pay a couple people to actually man the window.


This Title Will Be Gone Soon
Apr 13, 2008
On the bright side this will create factories that'll manufacture the robots and paying jobs for the highly trained professionals that have to maintain them.

On the down side the factory will likely be sent overseas, so this won't create jobs here, and they'll probably just hand the service manual to the geekiest kid they hire instead of paying that highly trained professional to handle the tech support. Yay progress.


Elite Member
Aug 28, 2014
Makes you wonder, is it worse to always be poor, or to get up there only to lose your job?

That's what I've always wondered. I live in a third world country, and like China, one of our advantages is cheap labor. If the standard of living gets better, and everyone gets a bit more financially stable, then we lose that advantage, and then we have a situation like this where CEOs would rather replace everyone with robots. Maybe we should just make being poor not so bad. Or we could force the corporations to keep their employees on.

I dunno. I know nothing about this.


New member
Jun 18, 2012
Obama says "we need to make it so that anyone can go to college to learn programming, and robotics" people shrug him off as day dreaming. some of the brightest minds alive talk about 'we need to be mindful to not replace every human with robots, or the economy will quake' people just ignore them.

and then things like this happen... WON'T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE HUMANS

Terminalchaos said:
At what point does automating jobs become an issue? Can we visit the idea of paying people to not work if there isn't enough work for everyone? I'm talking about in a sustained manner, not just welfare or unemployment. Its been years since I cashiered but I still don't use automated cashiers because it just feels wrong. Not an overtly ethical wrong just this weird creeped out, this won't end well in the long term wrong. I could see myself not going to a fully automated fast food restaurant if it replaces all the humans.

"This is the problem with Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton, and progressives who push very hard to raise the minimum wage. Does it really help if Sally makes $3 more an hour if Suzie has no job?" asked Puzder, rhetorically.
Does it really help Puzder if Sandra the Simulacra is the perfect employee if neither Suzy nor Sally have a job to allow them to buy his food?
this is something I have been asking for years now. "what happens when there are no 'middle class jobs' and 40-60% of the population has no ability to obtain a fragment of a job?" in every Utopian society that embraces technology, and automation they never talk about what happened to the lower, and middle classes. at least until we realize that the lower and middle class are a secret underground attempting to overthrow the Utopia by subverting what it has been built on......

looks at Politics..... Funny I didn't think we were in a Utopia

Kuala BangoDango

New member
Mar 19, 2009
The guy is an idiot.

You know what else is not rocket science Mr. CEO? The fact that replacing 5 million fast-food workers with robots means that there will be 5 million less people who can afford to buy the very product you're trying to sell.

What he's spouting is a BS argument and one I've seen quite a few times. They will argue that by lowering or removing minimum wage they will make more profits and in turn be able to hire more workers. What they constantly prove though is that any time they actually do increase their profits they celebrate by divvying those profits up with their executives and shareholders as bonuses.

He complains about labor costs being too expensive but he's not mentioning that he, as a higher end employee, is also part of that company's labor costs and if he were really worried about making labor costs cheaper he (and executives like him) would stop making their company pay for their corporate jets, corporate cars, corporate housing, corporate credit cards and all the other things they make the company pay for in their employment contract that most other people have to pay for out of their own pockets.

He's spouting trickle-down economics and it DOES NOT WORK.

Li Mu

New member
Oct 17, 2011
BUT WAIT! HOLD THE PRESS! Countries in Europe have a good minimum wage. Burger restaurants are forced to pay their staff a reasonably good wage (better than their brothers and sisters get in the United States)

"Oh Li Mu", I hear you cry, "Due to this decent living wage, all the burger restaurants must have surely closed down in Europe. How could they possibly ever make a profit whilst still paying their employees a livable salary?"

Well, it sure sounds crazy, doesn't it? Especially if you believe Mr. Carl jr. But strangely, Europe is full of burger joints.

I worked in KFC 12 years ago in the UK. I was getting ?6.70 per hour, which was a great little wage when I was 19 and still at college. ?6.70 is just over $9.
I've just checked out the average wage for a McDonalds employee in the US and it's $7-$9. 12 years ago I was earning more than a US burger flipper earns today.
Does KFC still exist in the UK? Yup. Does it still exist in Europe? Yup. So paying your staff a better wage clearly hasn't caused the collapse of KFC. They haven't had to resort to robots.

"Oh, but the cost of living in the UK is waaaay higher than in the US", I hear you shout. Well you're wrong.

Here's a little research I've done.

Rent Prices in United Kingdom are 8.86% lower than in United States
Indeed, our restaurant prices are way higher (mainly due to actually paying our staff and not having them rely on tips)
But hey, I'd rather get a better salary and eat out once a month rather than every week.

Basically, my wonderful state side brothers and are exploited. You are being exploited like a Chinese kid in a sweatshop. But the weird thing is, half of you support your own exploitation.

EDIT; Oh come on Escapist. You refuse to recognize the 'pound sign'. It's one of main world currencies for God's sake. Dear reader, please replace the ?6.70 with 6 [british pounds] and 70[british pence], since the Escapist's forum doesn't accept the existence of any currency other than the dollar.


Elite Member
Jan 16, 2010
Make me pay workers something slightly closer to a decent wage! Now way, I'm firing everyone and replacing them all with robots. So there! And then pretending I had no choice but to do so, that'll fool them.


New member
Jul 5, 2015
the unfortunate start to the automated future where half of people loose their jobs to automation that can do it more reliably, cheaper and never need rest.

i do wonder what will happen first we actually get to that 50% or they have protests that make the occupy wall street thing look like a sunday picnic in scope, anger and violence


King over my mind
Mar 29, 2011
Yeesh, that CEO sounds like a, "profits over people" type of person.

I remember CGP Grey talking about things like this a while ago.



New member
Jun 15, 2013
Oh my fucking God!! Businesses in the US, why the fuck are you afraid of actually paying your staff members a decent, reasonable wage? Is thta also the reason why tips are so high? Cause bosses can't be asked to pay waitress fully and correctly?

Politicians screams that the USA is the land of opportunity but really, when it comes to the working staff, you screw them over. Your minimum wage is shit and yet scream at those who would minimum wage jobs, telling them that it's their fault they are there. Coming up with incorrect figures and numbers. Screw that shit.

Honourable mention goes to the UK (minus Scotland causs they have it right)

Dear Tories, Labour and you know what, the rest of you, zero hour contract only benefits a small number of those in work and also certain sectors. Big mega corporations should not be exploiting this, MCDONALDS!!!

Oh? The employment figures are down, you say? You cook the books like you cook "tax" for big business. Overcooked, out of date and poisonous for all.


I'm in your mind fuzz
Sep 26, 2010
[quote/]"If you're making labor more expensive, and automation less expensive - this is not rocket science."[/quote]
Automation or not I really hate the way these people try and weasel out of paying other's a living wage...its like the whole "tipping" debate in America, its silly

if you need somone to be there for x amount of hours then you should pay them [i/]what that time is worth[/i] its not rocket science CE-bro

I guess the point is a bit moot with Automation (not just fot "basic jobs" in on the horizon) BUT STILL THE PRINCIPLE STANDS
Terminalchaos said:
At what point does automating jobs become an issue?
that has been a topic of hot debate, people not working doesn't necessarily have to be bad but you've got a lot of obstacles in the of which we generally find the very idea of "not working" incredibly hard to swallow as a society

and even if you somehow made a "basic guaranteed income" solution work....being at the mercy of the powers that be is not always a good thing
gardian06 said:
'we need to be mindful to not replace every human with robots, or the economy will quake' people just ignore them.and then things like this happen... WON'T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE HUMANS
its sorta that feeling when...youre on a train and you can't doing anything about cause somone else is driving

if this is something we'll have to worry about in the future I think its going to blind side a lot of people because the very idea sounds far too sci fi

Terminalchaos said:
this is something I have been asking for years now. "what happens when there are no 'middle class jobs' and 40-60% of the population has no ability to obtain a fragment of a job?
that's just run propgaganda to the employed 40-60% telling then that the only reason they can't get a job is because they're too inferior/lazy/immoral/dumb/foreign/gay/whatever


New member
Mar 25, 2008
I mean, how long before governments even try to nip this in the bud by instating laws on the maximum % of your workforce allowed to be non-human? Cause you kind of need something like that to keep the bottom from just falling out on our CEO topped economies.

Godzillarich(aka tf2godz)

Get the point
Aug 1, 2011
Here's some things about machines taking over people's jobs that people don't talk about.

1.Machines at least at this point are at best morons and have no common sense. One fuck up, one mess up, things can go really wrong and unlike a human they can't correct the situation, or mitigate the damage. You know how sometimes you GPS Fucks up and tells you to drive through a building or go into a lake, now imagine a computer in that situation. what if one of those robots short-circuits or breaks in that fast food restaurant. How much damage is that going to do, or at least how much progress is going to be slowed? which leads into my next point.

2.robots in the long-term are more expensive for fast food jobs, you need to build them, maintain them, have someone code the robots(which will not come cheap) for your restaurant and you need a backup plan just in case they break down. Which in the long term is far more expensive.

and finally robots will have difficulty comprehending our stupidity. You know the stories about people acting dumb at a McDonald's and going behind the cash register to piss in the food, you know these jackasses who follow no road laws whatsoever. What is a machine going to do about that unless the company wants to re-create Twisted Metal.

not to say robots are a disaster when it comes to jobs but completely removing the human element is a terrible idea and companies for the first to jump on this are going to taste karma for the lives they ruined.

sorry for poor spelling

Tsun Tzu

Feuer! Sperrfeuer! Los!
Jul 19, 2010
Isn't the minimum supposed to be at about $10 now with inflation factored in?

Still $7.25 here in Indiana.

And the minimum has gone many times in the past century? And, yet, the country hasn't collapsed in on itself? And doesn't more money in people's wallets directly translate into more shit being bought? I thought that was Economics 101.

I don't get these people. But, at the same time, I don't get the idiots asking for a $15 minimum either.