Jack in the Box CEO: Swapping cashiers for robots 'makes sense' due to minimum wage increase

The CEO of fast-food restaurant Jack in the Box said “it just makes sense” to replace cashiers with robots due to the minimum wage increase in California.

"As we see the rising costs of labor, it just makes sense" to swap cashiers with kiosks where customers can order their food themselves, CEO Leonard Comma said Tuesday at the ICR Conference in Orlando, Fla., Business Insider reported. 

However, Comma said that while his fast-food restaurant has tested products with technological advances at their establishments, he has decided to not go forward with the kiosks.


California, where Jack in the Box is based, will raise its minimum wage to $11 in 2018 and again in 2023 to $15. California and 18 other states have proposed to raise their respective minimum wages, Grub Street reported.

A general view of a Jack In The Box drive in menu and restaurant in Cardiff, California August 3, 2009. Fast-food chain operator Jack in the Box, which operates and franchises about 2,600 quick-service and fast-casual restaurants under the brand names Jack in the Box and Qdoba Mexican Grill, along with the Quick Stuff convenience stores built adjacent to Jack in the Box restaurants, will announce its results on August 4.   REUTERS/Mike Blake  (UNITED STATES BUSINESS FOOD) - GM1E58403NU01

The state of California, where Jack in the Box is based, is set to raise the minimum wage to $11 this year and $15 in 2023.  (Reuters)

Jack in the Box was not the only fast-food joint to consider using robots in replacement for cashiers. Wendy’s said it would be installing the kiosks in the next year and McDonald’s also announced they were planning to install the kiosks to 2,500 restaurants. However, McDonald’s vowed they would not be swapping cashiers for the self-automated machines.


Smaller fast-food chains such as CaliBurger and Eatsa have already started making the entire restaurant automated, Business Insider reported.

As a way to cut costs before the minimum wage increase, Red Robin announced Tuesday they would be cutting bus boys from 570 restaurants in order to save the company money.