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Gloomy-Employment-72 t1_iu5cpl4 wrote

That seems to be the Starbucks strategy so far. If that continues, I'm guessing they'll need to close a lot of stores because I think the cat is out of the bag.


BallardRex t1_iu5ldpk wrote

Starbucks, like MCDonalds, seems like the sort of business that will be early to full automation. I think that’s the strategy, the tactic is to delay until that’s feasible on a wide scale, then use that to pressure workers until the transition is made.


Velghast t1_iu5r2wv wrote

Eventually Starbucks will just be a vending machine it won't even be a physical location.


BallardRex t1_iu5r8e3 wrote

Inexplicably it will still demand to know your name, and then get it hilariously wrong.


maybeinoregon t1_iu5tz7v wrote

Or people will just buy a superautomatic for their home. Push a button, get a drink.


jimalloneword t1_iu6zms7 wrote

That has always existed. Starbucks is one of the places in America where you can sit on your laptop outside of your house, and all it costs is a an expensive coffee.


dubadub t1_iu7415t wrote

An there's a junkie in the bathroom!


c0d3s1ing3r t1_iu7zwnq wrote

The few times I've bought coffee at Starbucks has either been because I was with friends/family or because I really needed a coffee and they were the only one around.


maybeinoregon t1_iu7mshk wrote

When I’m outside of my house, the last thing I’m thinking about, is sitting on a slow unsecured network with my laptop.


Kanden_27 t1_iu61byn wrote

Reminds me of the Cyberpunk vending machines and ads.

“Ni-cola. Taste the love!”


chaiguy t1_iu6uhib wrote

There’s a robot cafe at SFO and it always draws a few onlookers but I’ve yet to ever see anyone actually buy a coffee from it. Meanwhile the Peet’s kiosk always has a line.

I don’t think people want to interact with robots as much as corporations think we do.


BallardRex t1_iu6uup5 wrote

Maybe the coffee at one place is just better?


chaiguy t1_iu6xejv wrote

I wouldn’t know cause I’m not buying coffee from a robot, but I can tell you that I’ve seen people leave McDonald’s when forced to order from the kiosk and I’ve seen people leave entire shopping carts of merchandise when forced to do self checkout.


ASoundLogic t1_iu7dq6w wrote

I would wager the amount of ppl using self-checkout completely dwarfs the amount of ppl abandoning self-checkouts.


chaiguy t1_iu7gmmy wrote

Albertsons (a grocery chain in my area) completely abandoned self check out a while back.

But I’m sure overall you’re right.

Robots are still losing the coffee wars in SFO though, hands down.


ASoundLogic t1_iu7l1td wrote

Maybe for now, but the children who grow up with VR headsets strapped to their faces will not bat an eye at interacting with bots in the next 15-20 years. Things 20-30 years ago people would have called you crazy for are all too commonplace now. People routinely get in a strangers car (Uber) or have a stranger in an unmarked car deliver food to them (UberEats) which was ordered via an app with zero human interaction. Cars have "self-drive" abilities. This is all deemed acceptable by society now. Gen Z is already way more into phones and social media than Millennials. The tech evolution just seems to be the natural progression of humanity.


BallardRex t1_iu6xksc wrote

Wow, you’ve seen all of that? I guess I’m convinced then. /s


ASoundLogic t1_iu7dkwm wrote

The self-checkout may beg to differ.


chaiguy t1_iu7gtvy wrote

The only time people use self check out is to get the self check out discount, or if the regular lines are significantly longer.


ASoundLogic t1_iu7ixxj wrote

The store you are referring to does not seem to be the norm of any major store I have seen. Take Wal-Mart for example. There are more self-checkouts than manned registers, and there is no "self checkout" discount given to those who use it. Oftentimes, there will be a long line waiting to use the self checkouts. I imagine it will not be long now for a similar practice to arise with fast food checkouts. I can see normal restaurants using Boston Dynamics caliber "Spots" to bring out your food and/or utensils drinks etc. With companies paying top dollar for burger flippers, cashier's, etc, at some point it no longer makes sense to have that recurring expense. The dawn of the AI powered robot is on the horizon, and it will be life as normal for up and coming generations to interact with them like self-checkouts are to us now.


ASoundLogic t1_iu7jrfq wrote

I really feel it isn't that far away. Imagine restaurants replacing chefs and waiters with bots, and the restaurants telling their paying customers that there is no need to tip. The novelty, cost savings, and reliablity to customer will translate directly to customer satisfaction. I could see really premium restaurants having human waiters etc., but those would have exorbitant prices anyway.


chaiguy t1_iu7l1ac wrote

I mean, have you ever heard of an automat? These were a thing in the 1950s, but they didn’t survive.

Robots might have the ability to replace humans soon, but it’s going to be a while before they are more cost effective.


ASoundLogic t1_iu7ms61 wrote

That's actually really a funny example that you gave. It was labor unions that were complaining for better wages which ultimately resulted in the automats having to raise the price of their items, particularly coffee, to accommodate the salaries of the workers. This is what led to the beginning of the downfall of the automat. By the 1960s, they we're considered old and out of date. There were faster options like take out and drive through, while in the early 1900's, Automats were really only competing with full-service, more expensive restaurants. What I am suggesting is the same thing will happen for the same reasons, which will lead to the growth and societal adoption of bot usage. Automats lost out because the food became more expensive, and there were other options to get other food, more quickly. Like then, industry now will pivot. Bot workers will allow the food to be cheaper to the customer, perhaps made more quickly, while offering a more reliable service.


ASoundLogic t1_iu7olmg wrote

I would give it 15 to 20 years. Once you get economies of scale acting to produce standardized bots powered by advanced AI with vision systems, the price will take care of itself. There will be some company out there that will pioneer the standard model of bot chef, standard model of bot waiter, etc. Even Tesla is working on bots to interact with humans.


c0d3s1ing3r t1_iu80egz wrote

True! My family used to hate going through self-checkout because "it shouldn't be their job". Turns out corporations weren't willing to pander and eventually they caved lol.


[deleted] t1_iu6i8ud wrote

These companies will never reach full automation. They'll spend more money on automating and failing than they would paying a regular human to just do the job. Even if they do reach "full automation" it will never actually be fully automated because you'll still need people to fix the machines when they break.


BallardRex t1_iu6ikxe wrote

We both know that “full automation” doesn’t mean that skilled maintenance and programming jobs are gone, and we know that the people serving coffee and hauling packages aren’t going to be getting them.


chaiguy t1_iu6v12i wrote

A robot can pour a perfect cup of coffee, but it can’t stop a junkie from shooting up in the store, or chase a schizophrenic person having an episode out, or clean up a spilled frapuchino. It definitely can’t soothe an irate Karen hurling expletives at it, and it damn sure can’t get the manager.


BallardRex t1_iu6v9hf wrote

Dude… they’re baristas, not bouncers. What hellscape do you live in?


ASoundLogic t1_iu7o2jp wrote

It will be the same as self checkout is today. You will have the one or two people that are around to manage issues like that while there exists a plethora of self-checkout lanes. Having to pay one person versus seven is still a lot of savings.


c0d3s1ing3r t1_iu808s5 wrote

The robot doesn't care about Karen and the bathroom/storefront has been removed.

If Starbucks maintains a dining area for the sake of the "experience" then cameras will monitor customer behavior like Amazon's cashier-less stores already do, and will either alert the police or a Starbucks private security task force (tm) to gun them down on the spot. Either that or customers will naturally be required to have some sort of Starbucks rewards membership in order to access the dining area at all and they'll simply let them ruin the dining area before charging the costs of repairs to them.

People are horrible but some of them give you money, so only allow the ones they give you money to enter the establishment in the first place, or else at least establish their identity that they won't try anything.


chaiguy t1_iu98qko wrote

I mean, they already have a robot cafe at SFO and it isn't doing well, that's all I'm saying. Like Starbucks could literally start firing people tomorrow and replacing them with robots, the technology exists. You have to ask why they're not doing that. It's because all the reasons I mentioned, but also because at this point in time, there's no cost savings in doing so. Humans are cheaper than robots.

Yeah, they have ATMs attached to banks, people sleep in the ATM area, they have sex in them, they use them as shooting galleries, it's a problem (after-hours). And they still have real live people working at banks.


blkknighter t1_iudk8vy wrote

It’s not doing well because of brand recognition. Everyone knows Starbucks, they know they’re usually order, and they want to use their punch card/app for points and free drinks


chaiguy t1_iudzcjy wrote

Of course that’s part of it. You’d think they’d get at least some business from sheer novelty but I make multiple trips through SFO and I’ve never ever seen a single customer.


BearDick t1_iu5rv1a wrote

Well I mean so far ~250 of the ~15,700 US stores have voted to 1.6% of stores is a start but at the same time Starbucks has started offering raises and additional benefits to non-union shops and my understanding is that really slowed down the unionization efforts.


THISISALLCAPS t1_iu62tvh wrote

So unionizing helped those that weren’t even in the union, and the business is saying, “see, wee take care of non union folk”.

Except they didn’t take care of anyone until the union was invited in. It’s so odd how that happens.

Starbucks should just be called $ucks, at this point.


Creative_Warning_481 t1_iu96vbh wrote

Combined with the fact the "unionized" stores still don't have any contract or sight of a raise or anything.