Wendy’s Serves Up Big Kiosk Expansion As Wage Hikes Hit Fast Food

Source: IBD | May 11, 2016 | Jed Graham

Wendy’s (WEN) said that self-service ordering kiosks will be made available across its 6,000-plus restaurants in the second half of the year as minimum wage hikes and a tight labor market push up wages.

It will be up to franchisees whether to deploy the labor-saving technology, but Wendy’s President Todd Penegor did note that some franchise locations have been raising prices to offset wage hikes.

McDonald’s (MCD) has been testing self-service kiosks. But Wendy’s, which has been vocal about embracing labor-saving technology, is launching the biggest potential expansion.


Although profit exceeded Wall Street estimates, Wendy’s shares dived nearly 9% Wednesday because of weak second-quarter sales.

“We are seeing a bit of a softer overall category in April” relative to the past two quarters, Penegor said on an earnings call, implying more of an industrywide trend than an issue specific to Wendy’s.

Penegor said the reason for softer growth was hard to pinpoint, but he listed a cautious consumer, tougher spring weather in the Northeast, and a wider gap between the cost of food at home vs. food away from home as possible contributors.


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  • Consistent #6024

    mostlyhomebound #6033

    We hardly ever eat out anymore. But my diet is pretty restricted anyway. My dietitian would yell at me if I ate any fast food.

    EVERYDAY #6042

    My formerly cast iron stomach can’t digest the food anymore. Plus it seems that most fast food restaurants hire young people without training them in customer service. About the only such restaurant I might patroniz occadionally is Chick FIl A. The food is a tad better than McDonald’s or Wendy’s, but what really sets CFA apart is customer service. I have yet to encounter a surly or incompetent employee.

    I expect as raises in the minimum wage are implemented we will see more and more of these inovations as businesses like McDonald’s struggle to survive. Unfortunately, even with these inovations, a number of businesses will go under. I suspect this is what the socialists have wanted all along — the gradual, systematic destruction of free entwrprise, to be replaced by government-run operations providing goods and services. That will be a nightmare.

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