How California’s New Law Impacts Restaurant Employees and the Role of Self-Service Kiosks in Labor Cost Management

In California, a new law is set to revolutionize the landscape for restaurant employees, particularly fast food workers. The legislation, which will go into effect next year, raises the minimum wage for these workers to $20 per hour. This significant increase reflects a recognition by the state’s Democratic leaders that many of these employees are the primary earners for their low-income households. Additionally, as the restaurant industry faces ongoing labor challenges, self-service kiosks offer a potential solution to manage labor costs more effectively.

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In this article, we will explore the impact of California’s new law on restaurant employees and delve into the role of self-service kiosks in labor cost management. We will examine the benefits and challenges associated with these changes and discuss how restaurants can navigate this evolving landscape to ensure success.

The Impact of California’s New Law on Restaurant Employees

Understanding the New Minimum Wage

Beginning in April next year, California’s minimum wage for fast food workers will increase to $20 per hour. This substantial raise is a significant step towards providing fair wages for these employees who have long advocated for higher compensation. The average hourly wage for fast food workers in 2022 was $16.21, making the new minimum wage a substantial improvement.

Recognizing the Role of Fast Food Workers

California’s new law acknowledges the vital role that fast food workers play in their households. Contrary to popular perception, these employees are often the primary earners for their families. The majority of fast food workers in California are minorities, and two-thirds of them are women. By raising the minimum wage, the state aims to provide these workers with greater financial stability and improve their overall quality of life.

Empowering Workers through the Fast Food Council

The new law also establishes the Fast Food Council, a body that will allow workers to have a stronger say in setting minimum wages and working conditions. This council will include representatives for both workers and employers, creating a platform for collaboration and decision-making. It will also play a crucial role in approving further pay increases and establishing standards for working conditions, including health and safety measures.

The Role of Self-Service Kiosks in Labor Cost Management

As the restaurant industry grapples with labor challenges, self-service kiosks offer a potential solution to manage labor costs more effectively. These interactive digital devices allow customers to place their orders and make payments without the need for direct interaction with a cashier. Let’s explore the benefits and challenges associated with the adoption of self-service kiosks.

“EZ”, the EZ-Chow self-ordering kiosk

Benefits of Self-Service Kiosks

  • Increased Efficiency and Order Accuracy
    Self-service kiosks streamline the ordering process, reducing wait times and minimizing errors. Customers can browse menus, customize their orders, and pay directly through the kiosk, eliminating the need for manual order taking. This efficiency not only enhances the customer experience but also reduces the burden on restaurant staff, allowing them to focus on other essential tasks.
  • Improved Customer Engagement and Satisfaction
    Self-service kiosks empower customers by giving them control over their ordering experience. They can take their time to explore menu options, make modifications, and choose their preferred payment methods. This increased engagement can lead to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Labor Cost Savings
    By automating the order-taking process, self-service kiosks can reduce the reliance on frontline staff. This, in turn, can result in potential labor cost savings for restaurants. With fewer employees needed to handle order taking, businesses can allocate their resources more efficiently, optimizing staffing levels and reducing overall labor expenses.
  • Customer expectations are constantly changing. Successful brands adapt and evolve to meet those expectations. “EZ”, our self-ordering kiosk, is a cost-effective solution for restaurants to reduce wait times, increase order accuracy, and improve the overall customer experience.


California’s new law raising the minimum wage for fast food workers to $20 per hour marks a significant step towards improving the financial well-being of these employees and recognizing their contributions. The establishment of the Fast Food Council further empowers workers, giving them a platform to voice their needs and improve working conditions. Simultaneously, self-service kiosks present an opportunity for restaurants to manage labor costs more effectively by automating the order-taking process.

As the restaurant industry evolves, it is essential for businesses to adapt to these changes and embrace innovative solutions that benefit both employees and customers. By prioritizing fair wages and implementing technologies like self-service kiosks, restaurants can navigate the evolving labor landscape while maintaining a high standard of customer service.



Bernie Fussenegger
Bernie Fussenegger,
Marketing,Branding & e-Commerce -Consultant
Click to learn more about Bernie Fussenegger

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