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Hit-Or-Miss Technology

Robots are Stealing All the Food Service Jobs

We’ll be lucky if robots only steal our jobs, rather than also enslaving civilization and mocking our weak sacks of soft-muscled frailty. Roughly 47 percent of jobs will be replaced by robots over the next 20 years, says one Oxford University study.

The fast food industry is specifically at risk, since labor and food costs represent 60-70 percent of industry revenues, according to a Cornerstone Capital Group report, while the recent national dialogue about a $15-hour minimum wage for quick service employees may speed things up.

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And it’s already moving quickly. I mean, it seems like just yesterday I first saw servers using tablets instead of notepads. That’s been evolving too. Earlier this year, Olive Garden said it was going to install Ziosk tabletop tablets at all its restaurants by the end of 2015, so right there, tech’s limiting servers to basically just food runners.

But now robots are locking down kitchen gigs too! Hell, Momentum Machines went ahead and actually invented a burger-flipping robota step hopefully more toward Futurama than Terminator—and the bot can do up a burger every ten seconds. In short, the robot replaces three full-time kitchen employees, which is what the company’s founders intend to do. Why make employees more efficient when there’s money to be made selling “employees” to restaurants?

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And there are a lot of jobs for those robots to take. We’re talking 2.4 million servers, about 3 million cooks and food preparers, and 3.3 million cashiers. It hasn’t exactly been a booming industry either. Since 1987, fast food eateries have grown at 0.3 percent per year, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That number is about to skyrocket if the government starts tracking robot employees, who never need vacation days, tips, or HR. So I hope you all enjoyed visiting your favorite server at that local country-themed family restaurant or rolling your eyes at every single server at Buffalo Wild Wings, because those days might be over soon.

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Video

‘The Scarecrow’ Chipotle Ad Just Broke Our Hearts… Then Put Them Back Together Again

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Ugh, Chipotle. Why you gotta do us like that? Thanks to you we’re a sobbing mess and feeling all sorts of guilt for eating those frozen chicken nuggets at the back of the freezer.

Earlier today, the burrito chain launched The Scarecrow, a new mobile game available on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The arcade-style game puts the player in the shoes of a scarecrow trying to fight the evil plans of Crow Foods, a company that produces processed food. The Scarecrow’s ultimate goal being to educate the public on the food industry.

To accompany the game, Chipotle released a short film starring the scarecrow and documents the sad, dark reality he lives in — one that is fraught with mistreated animals and melancholy factory scenes. As Fiona Apple’s cover of “Pure Imagination” plays in the background, one can’t help but feel a tug of heartstrings.

There is a happy ending, however, just watch for yourself below:

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Video

Documentary Gives a Morbidly Beautiful Glimpse Into the Food Industry [WATCH]

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Once in a while, we come across something powerful and compelling enough to change our perspective on reality. This clip from a 2011 documentary titled Samsara, “the ever turning wheel of life,” is one of those moments.

Devoid of dialogue, the six minute video takes viewers on a intimate journey through a realm rarely seen in the food industry. The cold detachment that exists between the consumer and the product is conveyed in sweeping, mesmerizing scenes. From the process of animal slaughter lit under florescent facility lights to a final shot of a visit to the doctor’s office, Samsara is is a reflection on “the rhythm of the planet.”

It should be noted that there are no direct shots of animals being beaten or activists protesting against animal cruelty, as the film’s message is subtle — aiming to have a sensory effect rather than one that is cerebral. “Our film is more about feelings and an inner journey than an intellectual experience,” producer Mark Magidson told the New York Times. “We’re not trying to say anything.”

The entire documentary takes place in 25 different countries over a period of five years. Much like the clip below, the film explores the underlying current that connects our every day lives.

H/T HuffPo