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(WRTV Your news leader)   For all you waiters and waitresses out there who are sticking it to man by not coming back to work after the pandemic, well, the restaurants have heard you grievances and it looks like they have a good solution to your, check that, their problem   (wrtv.com) divider line
    More: Fail, Restaurant, Steak 'n Shake, Take-out, Fast food, Kiosk, Eating, Sardar Biglari, quick-service restaurant model  
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776 clicks; posted to Food » on 14 Jul 2021 at 2:40 PM (2 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



39 Comments     (+0 »)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2021-07-14 2:01:35 PM  
This was going to happen anyway. The only difference is that now the less ethical, more morally bankrupt, and more assholish business owners will be able to blame it on the employees' unwillingness to work instead of their own greed and unwillingness to pay a living wage.
 
2021-07-14 2:02:10 PM  
upload.wikimedia.orgView Full Size


Automation? In restaurants? No kidding.
 
2021-07-14 2:12:17 PM  
Let's do some math.

$100,000 (low end estimate per 'straunt)
X
556 'straunts
________________________
$55,600,000


That's the brightest, most optimal, most cheery projection for what this will cost. It will almost certainly be more than that.

Now, that's just waitstaff. You still need staff to prepare and cook the food and presumably some sort of manager-supervisor combo to oversee the kitchen and deal with the finances and Karen clientele. Point being, eliminating waitstaff is only a portion of their labor and it will take awhile to make that investment back.

According to the article, Steak n' Shake damn near went bankrupt last year, so I'm wondering if this investment pays for itself in a timely enough fashion.
 
2021-07-14 2:13:19 PM  
Old news is so exciting.
 
2021-07-14 2:14:27 PM  
Next up: robots making food.


NO BENDER, THAT'S TOO MUCH SALT!!
 
2021-07-14 2:18:52 PM  
Wait, I've never been to Steak and Shake.  Is it table service or counter service?  If it's counter then there's no waitstaff, just people to take your order which can be really slow and confusing.  You're better off investing in more people to prepare food so you can get.more people fed in the same amount of time.  You're still hiring the same number of people, you're just using them differently.

If it's table service then you're eliminating it and that's a big change to customers.
 
2021-07-14 2:21:11 PM  

enry: Wait, I've never been to Steak and Shake.  Is it table service or counter service?  If it's counter then there's no waitstaff, just people to take your order which can be really slow and confusing.  You're better off investing in more people to prepare food so you can get.more people fed in the same amount of time.  You're still hiring the same number of people, you're just using them differently.

If it's table service then you're eliminating it and that's a big change to customers.


Table service.  Think of Burger King with waiters and a décor of saccharine "No [Nubians] allowed" nostalgia.
 
2021-07-14 2:26:27 PM  
A fast food restaurant is basically just a large, inefficient vending machine.

And now I'm hungry for a five-way chili.
 
2021-07-14 2:40:05 PM  
Biglari has been running SNS into the ground since day one. It takes a special eye to burn down a successful franchise.
 
2021-07-14 3:01:51 PM  
it has become clear to me that I am morally - indeed patriotically - obligated to speak up for the moral decency my old mentor continues to violate in the name of moral decency.


The Sex Pistols - Liar.
Youtube eY7EPE9biO0
 
2021-07-14 3:05:54 PM  
How novel...

thoughtco.comView Full Size
 
2021-07-14 3:11:38 PM  
Just got back from the bar for lunch. There was a single woman working register, food, and bar. About 40 people in there when we left. It was nuts, we just left a pile of cash and walked out.
 
2021-07-14 3:22:43 PM  
"We are embracing efficiency and transitioning the service model to empower our guests to place and pick up their own orders."

Oh - you're going to empower your customers not to have table service.  Thank you.  Thank you, Corporate Asshole for empowering me like this.  I feel so powerful, being able to do your servers' jobs myself and make your profit margins higher.  As a matter of fact, I prefer restaurants that have me do the work employees should do, without offering me a lower price point or other compensation.

Thank you, Mr., Asshole.  Thank you so much.

/WELP, that does it for me and Steak-n-Shake, should I have the opportunity again...
 
2021-07-14 3:23:30 PM  

Trocadero: How novel...

[thoughtco.com image 850x568]


If we had an automat, I'd patronize the living F*CK out of it.
 
2021-07-14 3:36:00 PM  
How do you pay?  Is it credit card only?  Can you use coupons?  Can you choose "no pickles" or the like?  Are you expected to bus the table?  If not, do you leave a tip for the busboy?
 
2021-07-14 3:53:04 PM  
Anyone who thinks this is a 'low wage earners' problem is not paying attention.  I can automate ~90% of what an attorney does.  About 80% of what a Doctor does, and almost ALL of what a retail store manager does.  You think your job is 'safe' because you have a high salary?  Wrong.  You're an even BIGGER target for automation.

Management will soon be done by algorithm.  Sales is already largely done by computer algorithms.  Quit thinking this is a minimum wage person's issue.
 
2021-07-14 4:06:13 PM  

A Cave Geek: Management will soon be done by algorithm.


Thus speaketh Amazon.
 
2021-07-14 4:09:12 PM  

Moniker o' Shame: How do you pay?


With YOUR SOUL.

Moniker o' Shame: Is it credit card only?  Can you use coupons?

Damnit, Summer, I am looking to make a Rick and Morty joke here.  Well, technically a Rick and Summer joke, but you get where this is going.

Moniker o' Shame: Can you choose "no pickles" or the like?  Are you expected to bus the table?  If not, do you leave a tip for the busboy?

Fine.  *grabs a portal gun...*
 
2021-07-14 4:40:23 PM  
CSB:

We stopped at a Steak n' Shake in Peoria about three years agonon our way home from camping. Half the tables in the place were covered in dirty dishes. One waitress. Everything tool forever. Self-service would have been a huge improvement.
 
2021-07-14 4:42:36 PM  

phalamir: Table service.  Think of Burger King with waiters and a décor of saccharine "No [Nubians] allowed" nostalgia.


Steak and shake has always maintained an equally black and white decor:
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-07-14 5:11:42 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: If we had an automat, I'd patronize the living F*CK out of it.


An automat would be awesome, if the food is fresh and well made.

But, watching the TabiEats yootoob channel makes me wish that the USA had embraced vending machine culture the way the japanese have.

Dig this:
JAPAN Vending Machine Restaurant
Youtube WKSjuSIuj6A


Hit their videos section and do a search for "vending" they have a whole series of them just visiting and sampling the offerings from vending machines all over Japan.
 
2021-07-14 5:24:51 PM  

Rev.K: Let's do some math.

$100,000 (low end estimate per 'straunt)
X
556 'straunts
________________________
$55,600,000


That's the brightest, most optimal, most cheery projection for what this will cost. It will almost certainly be more than that.

Now, that's just waitstaff. You still need staff to prepare and cook the food and presumably some sort of manager-supervisor combo to oversee the kitchen and deal with the finances and Karen clientele. Point being, eliminating waitstaff is only a portion of their labor and it will take awhile to make that investment back.

According to the article, Steak n' Shake damn near went bankrupt last year, so I'm wondering if this investment pays for itself in a timely enough fashion.


You'll also have to factor in technicians to service the machines. I doubt they break even and the abysmal customer experience will probably seal bankruptcy deal.
 
2021-07-14 5:31:15 PM  

Trocadero: How novel...

[thoughtco.com image 850x568]


I'm old enough to have eaten at an Automat.  The trick was to side-eye the empty slots and grab stuff right after the slot is filled.
 
2021-07-14 6:01:07 PM  
Steak and Shake sucks.  Used to be our go to on road trips then they changed their menu, ate there once and even the kids said it sucked, never been back and never will.
 
2021-07-14 6:08:21 PM  
Steak 'n Shake will have self-service kiosks and no servers when dining rooms reopen

I'm not sure how this is any different than pre-pandemic Steak 'n Shake.
 
2021-07-14 6:20:26 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: Oh - you're going to empower your customers not to have table service. Thank you. Thank you, Corporate Asshole for empowering me like this. I feel so powerful, being able to do your servers' jobs myself and make your profit margins higher. As a matter of fact, I prefer restaurants that have me do the work employees should do, without offering me a lower price point or other compensation.


The food won't cost less, but you'll overall pay less. Why? You won't have to tip somebody 20% of the cost of your meal to carry it from the kitchen to your table.
 
2021-07-14 8:29:58 PM  
64.media.tumblr.comView Full Size
 
2021-07-14 8:39:54 PM  

A Cave Geek: Anyone who thinks this is a 'low wage earners' problem is not paying attention.  I can automate ~90% of what an attorney does.  About 80% of what a Doctor does, and almost ALL of what a retail store manager does.


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-07-14 8:53:56 PM  
Their food has been steadily going downhill for a while.
It started around the time they had the commercials with the jackass in the talking hat.
 
2021-07-14 10:37:35 PM  
CVS, already infamous for poor customer service, has installed self checkout stations in my local store.
This is not "empowering".
 
2021-07-14 11:26:21 PM  
There really is a lack of workers since many people who were working multiple part time jobs are now at one full time.
 
2021-07-14 11:26:33 PM  
so Service Merchandise for food.
 
2021-07-15 12:13:37 AM  
Steak 'n Shake will be history in 6 months.

Freddy's is kinda what S'nS used to be.  Except more expensive.

Smart money's on Culver's.
 
2021-07-15 3:01:47 AM  

Trocadero: How novel...

[thoughtco.com image 850x568]


Coming in to say the same thing, woefully late in a dead thread. Has no one ever heard of automats? And how successful the concept was considering they are littering the streets these days and make up most restaurants pre-pandemic anyway? Oh, wait? You say automats are old hat and tried and tested and failed decades ago? So long ago that it's only us oldsters who remember them?

I think I ate at one of the last ones on the east coast when I was a very little girl on our way over to Germany to live. I thought it was amazing, heavenly, like a food Disneyland, though I had not been to Disneyland yet. I remember how dazzling I, as a 3 year old, thought the place was, so shiny and full of enticing food behind glass that was available instantly, as instantly as putting a needle on a record and getting music - which I was already an old hand at.

I think that working in an automat would be a good job. You get to cook in large amounts without the kind of time pressure line cooks face, or even most catering has time pressure. Any time pressure would come from company imposed quotas not angry hungry customers in the dining room. In an automat built these days, the door to the back areas would be locked.
 
2021-07-15 8:46:52 AM  

Rev.K: $100,000 (low end estimate per 'straunt)


The equivalent of 666.66 hours labor $15/hr, or the rough equivalent of paying 4 full time employees for one month.

The investment suddenly doesn't sound like that much now, does it?
 
2021-07-15 9:50:09 AM  

TTFK: The equivalent of 666.66 hours labor $15/hr, or the rough equivalent of paying 4 full time employees for one month.

The investment suddenly doesn't sound like that much now, does it?


No, it doesn't.

But remember, $100,000 is the low end of the estimate.

And this seems to assume that people will use the technology and come to eat just like they would have with waitstaff working, which might be reasonable or might not.
 
2021-07-15 11:26:23 AM  
Right. So instead of waiting on slow employees, we will wait on even slower and much stupider customers. Like at the grocery store.

BTW, Taco Bell, at least, has had kiosks for awhile now. I honestly don't see the problem, from a service perspective.

With waiting for some asshole to decide what they want, quiz the teenager behind the counter about whether something is fresh or frozen (something an actual asshole did at some fast food place I went to once), submit a number of special instructions, figure out how they were gonna pay, the ordering and paying is almost always the slowest part. Of course, now we're gonna hear more about kiosk rage, where some farkwad gets all mad that he/she can't get the kiosk to accept their gluten-free and no-fat mayo preferences when they're ordering their burger.
 
2021-07-15 12:59:05 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
zez
2021-07-15 9:02:24 PM  

fasahd: phalamir: Table service.  Think of Burger King with waiters and a décor of saccharine "No [Nubians] allowed" nostalgia.

Steak and shake has always maintained an equally black and white decor:
[Fark user image 259x194]


that looks a LOT like the one by my house, down to the bushes and the way the parking lot is laid out. Most are of a newer style and he local one has been there since the 50s or so.
 
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