AI, robots and automation could replace humans in the food services industry “by the mid [2020s],” Yum Brands CEO Greg Creed told CNBC.
The executive says his company, which owns fast-food restaurant brands like Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell, has already set up automated kiosks in Shanghai, China. In one case a Pizza Hut customer is greeted by a robot.
Still, that doesn’t mean humans will be obsolete, he said. “We don’t make a lot of things until customers order,” Creed said. “I’m not sure we’re going to have robots replace people.
“But robots are already being used on factory floors around the world, and while they aren’t threatening jobs today, Creed says advances in technology will eventually lead to less work. “I don’t see it changing people’s jobs in the short term.”