Celebrity chef Robert Irvine apparently does not have a positive outlook on the new minimum wage law in California. According to Irvine, the problem will have an adverse impact in many other states besides just the Golden State. 

Irvine Predicts At Least 20% Loss Of ‘Mom-And-Pop’ Businesses

Robert Irvine opened up about the new minimum wage law enforced in California during a recent interview with Fox News Digital. The celebrity chef predicts that “we’re going to lose about 20-plus percent of our small, mom-and-pop business” as a result of the new legislation.

Source: Wikimedia//Jim Greenhill

He also believes that the overall impact of the new law will extend far beyond the California state line. Irvine indicated that “what California has actually done is going to enable other states to do the same thing.”

Irvine Believes ‘It Is A Broadband-Spectrum Problem That’s Across The Country’

Irvine expressed his belief that the adverse impact of the new minimum wage law “is a broadband-spectrum problem that’s across the country, not just California.” With his comment, he suggested that other states may follow California’s lead.

Source: Wikimedia/Office of the Governor of California

This type of example could essentially open the floodgates that would lead to similar economic pressures throughout the United States, according to Irvine.  The “Restaurant: Impossible” host stated that the new law has “opened the gateways to other states to raise that minimum wage.”

Restaurant Tech Outfitter Has Noticed 77% Increase In Service Requests Since Wage Hike

The ripple effect has already been noticed in more ways than many people may realize. However, those within the food and beverage industry apparently have a front-row seat to the changes.

Source: Facebook/GRUBBRR

For instance, the restaurant tech outfitter GRUBBRR has reportedly experienced a 77% increase in service requests since the statewide minimum wage hike was enacted earlier this month.

Restaurant Upgrades Could Help To Prevent Restaurant Closures, Employee Layoffs

Irvine, who is an investor in GRUBBRR, recently helped to launch the company’s “Restaurant Revamp” campaign. The objective of the campaign is to provide digital makeovers to restaurants in need.

Source: Pixabay/Ronald Carreno

According to Irvine, these tech upgrades could play an integral role in the prevention of future restaurant closures. These enhancements may also be able to prevent or at least drastically reduce the number of worker layoffs such as those that have resulted in the aftermath of California’s new minimum wage law.

Robert Irvine: New Minimum Wage Increase Law ‘Come At A Really Bad Time’

Robert Irvine added clarity to his comments by showing his support for employees receiving sufficient wages for their hard work. He stated that he believes “that everybody should be able to make a livable wage,” which has “been tough.”

Source: Pixabay/Tumisu

However, Irvine explained that the new minimum wage increase law “comes at a really bad time.” He went on to say that the timing is bad since “the inflation is very high” and “food costs are very high.”

Impact Of New Law ‘Is Putting Small, Mom-And-Pop Operators Out Of Business’

Irvine stated that the “increase of wage plus the food cost is putting small, mom-and-pop operators out of business.” He explained that this was simply “because they cannot afford $20 an hour” or even “$27 an hour in some places” as a minimum wage.

Source: Pixabay/Pexels

The overall expense does not include the money needed to recruit, hire, and train new employees added to the company payroll. Neither does it include the funds invested in trying to retain the other employees, such as the salaried employees, that are not directly impacted by the minimum wage law.

Robert Irvine Claims Fast Food Chains Are ‘Turning To Technology’ To Offset Humans

The celebrity chef and investor explained that technology is playing a key role in assisting restaurants to save themselves from the direct impact of the new minimum wage law. For instance, he stated that “fast food chains” are now “turning to technology to offset that human being.”

Source: Pixabay/Saba Imdad

Irvine specifically referenced Yum! Brands and McDonald’s as examples to support his point.

McDonald’s Started To Build Out Its Data Platform In 2016

McDonald’s reportedly started to build out its data platform in 2016 by leveraging AWS infrastructure. The company was able to lean on cloud-based solutions to migrate and transform the standard customer experience with limited human intervention.

Source: Pixabay/Quartzla

For instance, McDonald’s started to use self-service kiosks and digital menu boards to enhance the customer experience. It even integrated machine learning personalization into the overall strategy before expanding its deployments with a multi-cloud strategy nearly two years later.

McDonald’s CFO Claims They Will Invest In ‘Strategic Opportunities To Drive’ Efficiency

McDonald’s CFO Ian Borden discussed the technological advancements and overall strategy during a past earnings call. Borden stated that the company was “going to continue to invest in the areas where we think we have strategic opportunities to drive greater efficiency.”

Source: Pixabay/Michal Jarmoluk

Borden further explained that a lot of the work would be led by the Global Business Services organization. He added that it was currently “driving these transformation efforts in areas like HR, finance,” and technology.

Irvine Plans To Open New Tech-Focused Restaurants In Other States

Robert Irvine announced his plan to establish new tech-focused restaurants within other states. However, he made it clear that it would not take any jobs away from the average U.S. worker.

Source: Pixabay/Djedj

The technology would essentially be used as an enhancement for customer service instead of a replacement. The technology would eliminate order errors and reduce poor customer care experiences.

Tech-Focused Strategy Will Save In Labor Costs Due To Reinvesting Resources

Robert Irvine further explained that his tech-focused strategy would save him in labor expenses. According to Irvine, he would take the human employee that would have done the same task and put them “to a better use somewhere else.”

Source: Flickr/Dublin City Libraries

He emphasized that this strategy is “not firing the person.” Instead, it would just allow him to focus on “reallocating the labor to work in a better format” for him and the business overall.

‘You’re Actually Making More Money’ To Pay Staff And ‘Keep Them Happy’ At Work

Irvine explained that the tech-focused strategy would actually allow them to start “making more money” as restaurant owners. He also highlighted the long-term benefits of this type of approach.

Source: Pixabay/Barta IV

For instance, owners would be able to “pay more money” to their staff members. By doing so, it would “keep them happy in the jobs” that owners want them to do without “wasting their time.”

Irvine Estimates That 44% Of Quick-Service Restaurants Will Adopt Technology In 2024

Irvine estimates that 44% of quick-service restaurants throughout the country will adopt technology by the end of 2024. This technology would either be implemented within the front-end or the back-end of the restaurant operations.

Source: Pixabay/Engin Akyurt

Doing so will allow these restaurants to enhance the overall efficiency of their operation. In addition, Irvine believes that it will also increase profitability.

Robert Irvine: ‘Technology Is Not Going Away, It’s Only Getting Better’

Robert Irvine strongly emphasized the need to embrace and adapt to technology in today’s digital age – specifically when it comes to restaurants and other business owners. He stated that “technology is not going away” and that it is “only getting better.”

Source: Pixabay/Pexels

For those that are still hesitant about embracing technology, he stated that “you really must focus” and “figure out what your operation needs.” He then advised them to find a technology company that “comes in and listens to what you need” in addition to your long-term vision of your business.