Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

 

We're willfully heading toward a fairly insane future.

I suspect we don't realize how insane it's going to be and, when we experience it fully, we'll think we were insane to head this way.

But humanity's always been less smart than it thought it was.

So why be surprised that one restaurant CEO thinks we really don't want people to serve us anymore?

When I say "we," I should mention that Andy Puzder, CEO of Carl's Jr., specifically has millennials on his mind.

He told Business Insider that he wants to try creating a Carl's Jr. without people.

Anyone who's been inside a Carl's Jr. surely must have worried that the beings inside there aren't, you know, entirely human.

But I'm talking about the guests, not the staff.

Puzder, however, believes that a robocentric restaurant -- one in which customers won't ever have to encounter a human member of staff -- is exactly what younger generations crave.

He said: "We could have a restaurant that's focused on all-natural products and is much like an Eatsa, where you order on a kiosk, you pay with a credit or debit card, your order pops up, and you never see a person."

And I could have a triple-decker burger with cheese, tomato, yoghurt and squished banana. But I'm not sure that's such a fine idea either.

Puzder, though, is fed up of the government making it allegedly ever more expensive to hire and keep human workers.

He has a refined talent for cliché in describing the business problem: "If you're making labor more expensive, and automation less expensive -- this is not rocket science."

Nothing ever is -- save for rocket science.

But once he'd finished bashing the government, he explained that his forte is modern psychology.

"Millennials like not seeing people," he explained.

And there I was thinking that millennials need liking and loving from people 24 hours a day. Are they really happy just to get that through a computer? Don't they love being hugged, admired and served in person?

Not according to Puzder. He has evidence.

"I've been inside restaurants where we've installed ordering kiosks," he said, "and I've actually seen young people waiting in line to use the kiosk where there's a person standing behind the counter, waiting on nobody."

Perhaps millennials feel more confident with machines, having been brought up with them since birth.

Perhaps they find other humans more intimidating, more scary, more fraught with potential hurt.

But they're all voting for the least technological, most humane candidate of all in Bernie Sanders, aren't they?

How can these be the same people who allegedly want all the nice high school and college students working in fast-food emporiums to lose their jobs?

And if Puzder is right, if millennials really adore these human-free Carl's Jr. restaurants, what will he do with his advertising?

It will surely be hard to present attractive female models drooling over pieces of meat in buns and then deliver utter sterilization when you actually waft into a Carl's Jr..

I fear there are deep psychosexual elements that Puzder hasn't yet addressed in his dastardly anti-human plan.

Published on: Mar 19, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.