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The Rise of Robot Waiters
Written by Andrew Sung | Published. 2019.03.04 19:54 | Count : 408
As the government raised the minimum wage level excessively, shop owners and other citizens in related job fields were clearly outraged. In this article we will focus not on the economic perspective of this phenomenon like ordinary news reports, but be delving into the changes that spring up right before our eyes in our every day-life without us noticing. 

If you enter just a few restaurants and diners, you can clearly notice that there is at least one kiosk to order your food from. (A kiosk is a machine that can take your order by pressing the things you want on the panel) These kiosks were usually limited to the fast food chain shops which used these machines to get orders in quickly. However as the burden to hire waiters get to costly the shops are resorting to using kiosks even in rather small diner. You can also see that more and more diners are run by the family so that they do not have to deal with the minimum wage rises. This action further reduces the remaining employment sources.
 
[Photo of me using a kiosk in a small kimbab shop. photo taken by Lee miyoung]
[Photo of me using a kiosk even in a study café. photo taken by Lee miyoung]
[I interviewed an shop owner (with permission to take photos) to ask questions
about her opinion on kiosks. photo taken by Lee miyoung]
Q; So how were you affected by minimum wage policy and what did you do as a result of it?
Well as a café owner I was a direvtly influenced by the  minimum wage policy and I had a hard time paying for the part time workers. So to cut the cost and now I work with only one worker. But to tell the truth it is taking a toll on me as there are so many things to do.
 
Q; What is your opinion on kiosks being used all around town?
I have seriously thought about bringing one in as it would seriously save a lot of time and energy. The initial cost of bring in one of those machines is rather expensive but in the long term it will be a profit for me so I am considering buying one in the near future.
 
Q: What about the people who aren’t used to using kiosk?
I don’t think that will be a problem because for those special cases I can attend to them myself. Anyway we shop owners have to go with the flow to compete. As the trend is to use kiosk, I will use one myself. ■

Now that we are aware of these slight changes in our lives in the last couple of months, what kind of benefit or harm are we, the average citizens, feeling? The numerous kiosks have obviously streamlined the process of taking orders and are quite convenient, rather than always struggling to get the waiter’s attention every time you want to order something. But imagine this from the point of view of the elderly. The elderly are lagging behind in this streamlined culture of today and can no longer keep up with the further automation of even getting the services they need to get. Even the most essential businesses that we do every day have been automated. For example banking and buying products have started to become integrated with kiosks. This will prove to be a great pain for the elderly and also for all the social minorities such as people with disabilities. These changes may not have been sensed by those indifferent to their surrounding, but these alterations to our lives are definite proof of the drastic change of tides caused by one policy. 
 

 










Andrew Sung 
8th grade
Yeoksam middle school

Andrew Sung  student_reporter@dherald.com

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  • DerpMatt 2019-03-08 18:03:40

    This must have been a great experience for you! I think that this is also a revolutionary development not only due to the change in economy, but also because you discuss on how robots may be taking over jobs.   삭제

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