A new Shake Shack opening up in New York City’s East Village is trading human cashiers in for robots in order to pay the rest of the shop’s employees a $15 an hour wage.
The newest building is an experiment that Shake Shack management hope will direct the future of the company. They want to attract a more skilled and committed workforce by automating some jobs and paying higher wages to the rest, the New York Post reports.
“The Astor Place Shack will be a playground where we can test and learn the ever-shifting needs of our guests,” Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti told the New York Post. “[It] represents our dedication to innovation and to providing the best for our guests and for our teams.”
Former President Barack Obama praised Shake Shack in 2014 for its “great burgers” and the fact it pays employees “more than 10 bucks an hour.” He made the remarks eating at one of the company’s restaurants while campaigning to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, the Wall Street Journal reports.
“This is an important tool for us to help create more pathways into the middle class and make sure that if you work hard in this country, you can succeed,” Obama said according to WSJ.
If the trailblazing Shake Shack branch in the Big Apple survives, it will be paying its workers what the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and 2016 Democratic Party platform endorses to be the federal minimum.
“This is why the economic fantasies of Barack Obama and the ‘Fight For $15’ just aren’t practical when confronting the reality of running a business in 2017,” AR Squared spokesman Jeremy Adler told The Washington Free Beacon. “As economists have been saying for years, the impact of dramatic minimum wage increases is fewer jobs and economic opportunities for working people, as Shake Shack is demonstrating today.”
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