The future is here, and it’s happening at Carl’s Jr. That’s because the company’s CEO, Andy Puzder, excited about the prospect of a robot uprising, has decided that the thing he wants most in the world (probably even more than global peace and goodwill amongst men) is a restaurant free of human workers, an eatery run entirely by machines who make waffle fries (delicious) 24/7 and never take a vacation. Such a restaurant will not only be an exciting new way for people to eat, but will free millennials from any pesky social interactions that come from dining out in public. (Which is kind of the point of eating out in public? But that’s none of our business.)
According to Eater, Puzder’s inspired by restaurants like Eatsa in San Francisco (and now in LA!), where customers order from machines (which is a fun, novel concept), quickly pick up their food from “cubbies” and then sit the hell down to enjoy their protein and a healthy dose of electronic engagement courtesy of any number of devices they’ve brought to occupy themselves with. It’s eating with others, but also not having to interact with anyone you don’t want to (which has actually been earning Eatsa five-star reviews on Yelp).
Puzder’s concept goes much further than just ordering off tablets and picking up food made by humans, though (like at Eatsa). What he wants is a restaurant that’s completely run by machines.
“I want to try it,” CEO Andy Puzder told Business Insider of his automated restaurant plans.”We could have a restaurant that’s focused on all-natural products and is much like an Eatsa, where you order on a kiosk, you pay with a credit or debit card, your order pops up, and you never see a person.”
Of course, Puzder’s plans aren’t altruistic. In fact, his desire to create restaurants that are essentially employee-free come from his disagreements with the rise in minimum wage. As automation becomes cheaper and humans (who need to take time off, be coddled when they’re having a bad day, and expect to be paid on time) become more expensive, Puzder points out, wanting robots to take over everything isn’t “exactly rocket science.”
But while Puzder’s dreams could soon be a reality–and Business Insider points out that machines could be more precise chefs (3D-printing’s already hitting it big in food)–the tech isn’t there quite yet. And there’s no telling whether customers would embrace the premise of a restaurant that’s fully automated, especially if they haven’t grown up with the tech that Puzder’s thinking about. That doesn’t mean he’s not going to continue fighting to make his dream a reality. And why wouldn’t he? According to him, there are several reasons why machines are better than you or me: “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.
Well, not yet, anyway. But what happens when a machine-run restaurant does slip up and start giving away free food? Or blasts its customers with hot oil by accident? Or becomes self aware, traps human customers inside, and forces them to service the new robot overlords by cleaning and oiling them until their limbs and spirits give out?
Not having to talk to people’s pretty cool, though.