Ex-McDonald's Executive Touts The Future Of Robotics, But This Analyst Isn't Convinced
Ed Rensi is a former McDonald's Corporation (NYSE: MCD) executive who made headlines Tuesday when he suggested that it would be cheaper for McDonald's to buy a $35,000 robotic machine to handle customer orders rather than paying employees a proposed $15 minimum wage.
However, R.J. Hottovy of Morningstar isn't convinced that robotics represents the future of fast food service.
Speaking as a guest on CNBC's "Squawk Box," the analyst suggested that the industry is unlikely to "go that far" and replace all human workers with robots. He did, however, suggest that "there is room" for robotics to improve McDonald's operations "behind the scenes."
"I don't think they will ever replace workers — there will always be a need for that," he said. "I don't think massive job losses are imminent, but certainly there is some room to bridge the gap and maybe integrate technology within the restaurant."
Hottovy added that if the minimum wage were to increase, there would be pressure on McDonald's to increase its own pricing. However, he pointed out that the company's recent "pick two" menu initiative was set up in a way that would still offer a compelling and attractive offering to consumers even at a higher price point.
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