Due to strict immigration laws and a population of young people with higher aspirations, Singapore is replacing human employees with machines in food courts to boost productivity.
Bloomberg reports that the city-state has found great success at a food court in Changi Airport where customers can select their meal from a machine, pay with a credit card, pick up their food and be on their merry way. According to Bloomberg, the company behind the Changi food court, Select Group, has saved so much in reducing costs that a new food court for another airport terminal is in the works.
According to economist Jonathan Galligan, Singapore is experiencing the need for more productivity due to its dismal population trend. Bloomberg reports that the city-state’s population is aging rapidly while fertility rates are falling.
The Singapore government recognizes that this initiative will cost some citizens jobs, but it’s something they “are already preparing them for.” The deputy prime minister, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, noted in September that “younger Singaporeans aspirations are changing, and you can’t find many young people who will do low-skill jobs and stay with the firm for long. Neither can we continue to grow foreign manpower.” Robots don’t require health insurance or maternity/paternity leave, nor would they snap back or hold a strike. Additionally, they have no nationality or ethnicity, making them an ideal solution for a food-service company looking to the future.