Panera Bread Replacing Its Cashiers With Robots

May 27, 2014


Picture related enough: the near future.

Mediocre soup and sandwich giant Panera Bread has announced it's going to replace its human cashiers by 2016. The company will install automated ordering and payment kiosks so you don't have to talk to a human while ordering your food. Or while picking it up -- just snatch the tray with one hand and continue playing with your phone with the other. Bonus @$$hole points for shooting the employee a stink-eye like you're better than them.

The news follows moves from Chili's and Applebee's to place tablets on their tables, allowing diners to order and pay without interacting with human wait staff at all.

Panera, which spent $42 million developing its new system, claims it isn't planning any job cuts as a result of the technology, but some analysts see this kind of shift as unavoidable for the industry.

No job cuts? Then what are the people who used to be cashiers going to be doing? Are you going to invent new jobs for them? At least don't LIE about it. Yes, we're replacing workers with robots, and yes, we're firing people. This is the future, and we can't afford to bring you a $6.99 soup and sandwich combo without breaking a few eggs. "But the soup and salad shouldn't contain eggs." It's a saying! You know, like, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the sauna. "I'm not sure that's how it goes." Plus try not to stare at any of the other guy's johnsons.

Thanks to Thaylor H and E V I L A R E S, who refuse to be served by a robot, no matter how much more practical or hygienic. I mean, I hate robots, but I still haven't seen one that works at Taco Bell posting pics on Instagram with its penis in a gordita.

  • Ran Ma

    Mmmm...Never thought I would see the day...

  • spectre99

    buckle up buttercup.
    min wage raise to me means my education loans still cost the same, it will just take me twice as long to pay them back because my dollar will be worth half of what it used to be.
    these jobs are not new, I paid at the pump after I did self checkout after I red-boxed some movies. these are service jobs NOT production, meaning nike will not automate their sweatshops, but we will be bagging most of our own groceries.
    there is a well known galaxy of problems with unchecked corporate capitalism. in the end it will be 4 or 5 companies that will feed, inform, house, and treat us; but the constitution that used to protect us from Orwellian abyss will be long gone. it only matters if they an afford the lawyers that keep them from getting sued to death, union carbide-tepco-british petroleum etc. etc.

  • snickledarf

    robots are pretty cool i guess

  • Dr. Perry Cox

    "Modern technology has become a total phenomenon for civilization, the
    defining force of a new social order in which efficiency is no longer an
    option but a necessity imposed on all human activity ... In the end, technique has only one principle: efficient ordering" - Jacques Ellul

  • Richard Hare

    And people thought that the mandated raise of the minimum wage to 10.10/hr would have no affects on unemployment? You increase operating costs you either 1) raise prices to compensate 2) cut costs with layoffs 3) adjust operations to compensate or 4) both 2 and 3

  • $18889437

    The reality of a raised minimum wage is that it has the short-lived effect of raising people's standard of living for a small window... until retailers realize people are making more (including their own employees) then they just raise prices and everything levels out. Suddenly the guy who makes 10 an hour might as well be making 6 an hour again. It's like when old people talk about going to the movies and dinner for a couple dollars... but they made a ridiculously low wage comparatively. In 1950 a person had to work 56 hours to cover the average $42 dollar monthly rent bill because the minimum wage was 75 cents. So it's all relative and really kind of pointless.

  • Andyman7714

    George Jetson made a living pushing buttons.

  • dougfunnay

    dude minimum wage has nothing to do with this
    (also the minimum wage did not in fact rise to $10/hr...... yet this is still happening)
    the minimum wage could be 4/hr with living costs staying exactly where they are and it would still be cheaper to buy a robot than hire an employee...... and this is where capitalism will fail cant have a consumption based economy when all the consumers are out of work and broke

    hell the ceo of jack in the box even said they could raise the wage they pay their employees by a significant amount with negligible increase in costs (a few cents per item)
    the investors threw a shit fit

  • nunyobini

    Are you sure? That does not sound like something Jack would say.

  • HackTheGibson

    You can claim minimum wage has nothing to do with it but you would be wrong. Even though minimum wage did not go up, yet, the writing is now on the wall. So if a company is going to develop a system from scratch and roll it out on a national level they need a few years to do it right, so they are planning ahead.

    Good thing for Jack in the Box, but not every company is that fortunate.

  • dougfunnay

    lolololol theyre not developing this from scratch

    the idea has been around for a long time....and no the minimum wage has nothing to do with it....again it would be cheaper to hire a robot if the minimum wage was even as low as $4

    the technology is just starting to reach a point where it is cheap enough and reliable enough to replace living employees....and it will only get cheaper and more reliable

    and again...they are thinking ahead but how far..... what are they going to do when other companies follow suit and their customers can no longer afford their product?
    how is the labor force going to react when tens of millions find themselves out of a job?

    .....there will come a time when they will be kicking themselves in the balls wishing they had taken that small hit to their profits rather than putting themselves out of business entirely

  • HackTheGibson

    People have said that for centuries. As technology improves, jobs will shift.
    Very few carriage operators left now days. Same thing with elevator operators. Look at what tractors allow one farmer to accomplish instead of 100 people a century ago. Look at most manufacturing jobs now done by machines. People are not eliminated from the equation, jobs are moved.

    Side note, not always due to cost. Some times safety, precision, or sanitary. - The last one is why I look forward to this. I might actually eat fast food again if a robot is what is touching my food. I hope it isn't the same way nationally, but around here the majority of workers are nasty.

  • dougfunnay

    im lolling you are talking about very specific inventions that replaced a small number of jobs at a time...... not machines that will have the capability to do almost anything a human can do
    you will see friend
    we have an uneducated populace (due to a school system meant to churn out cheap labor for menial jobs) thats not fit for professional work
    tell me where will these jobs shift to?
    not everyone can be an engineer or a surgeon even if they had the qualifications to be

    and hell doctors and surgeons will even lose their jobs to machines a decade or so this will be autonomous

    again...... this system of economics was never intended to deal with the world we have now let alone a world where the majority of the labor force is completely obsolete
    its been hundreds of years..... our world has changed immensely...... our economics unfortunately have not

  • dougfunnay

    and so it begins

    .....job creators.....lawl

  • HackTheGibson

    Please tell me which company that you own so I can come and apply for a job making so much.

  • dougfunnay

    dont hire your kind

  • If the amount is incorrect you can smack their head the way c3po does with r2d2.

  • Based on my terrible experience there it seems that they started using robots years ago.

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