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Wendy's Eyeing Self-Service Kiosks In Effort To Cut Labor Costs

VAN NUYS ( — The next time you order a Frosty at Wendy's, it might be done through a self-serve kiosk.

The fast-food chain has plans to replace some workers with the touch-screen technology in an effort to save on labor costs.

By the end of the year, thousands of Wendy's locations across the country will be offered the kiosks, while franchise-operated stores will have the option of whether to use the technology.

In California, around 250 locations are locally owned.

But not everyone is embracing the idea.

"They come to get fast food, but they are also coming out for the service," said Amanda Hipkins, a Wendy's employee.

"People have a hard enough time picking sodas, and figuring that out," said Adam Simpson, another employee.

This year, minimum-wage rose to $10 an hour in California and will gradually rise to $15.

Todd Penegor, Wendy's president and chief financial officer, told Investor's Business Daily that labor costs have gone to five to six percent in the past year.

"We'll continue to invest in technology, with things in the front of the house, consumer facing, like customer self-order kiosks, mobile-order, mobile-pay," he said.

On social media, there were mixed opinions. Some said kiosks and mobile apps may help improve order accuracy since it's do-it-yourself.

Meanwhile, the self-service kiosk trend is already being embraced by some McDonald's, Carl's Jr., and Panera Bread locations.

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