LAS VEGAS (FOX5) – A group of local kids stood up for their bartender, cashier and service industry parents in a video posted online.
“Our parents work behind the scenes,” the video started. “Bartenders, cashiers, and waitresses. But in August some will be replaced with machines.”
The creator of the video, 18-year-old Haley Lilla, told FOX5 she created the video herself after seeing her own parent frustrated with how technology is impacting the service industry.
One of the biggest changes could be coming to the MGM Grand. The company confirmed it has plans to implement new technology, using machines to mix and measure drinks behind the scenes. Waitresses will be able to deliver drink orders with the press of a button.
The Culinary Union was notified of the changes because of its contract with MGM. The contract states MGM must notify the union on changes no later than 6 months ahead of time. That means advancements to MGM properties could come as early as August.
MGM spokesperson Brian Ahern said the changes will help get customers their drinks faster. The company will also work to retrain employees for other positions should their jobs be impacted.
But some bartenders believe a human touch is needed for every drink.
“I can work with a guest in a way a robot can’t because I can ask them, ‘well, I’m not familiar with that, can you tell me what’s in it?’ Because as a bartender I need to balance a cocktail, know what the prime ingredient would be and how to measure it out properly to give them what they’re asking for,” said Trish McLeod, a bartender and instructor with Crescent School of Gaming and Bartending.
When asked for comment, the Culinary Union gave the following statement:
Culinary Union contracts protects 60,000 workers in Las Vegas with fair wages, job security, and the best health benefits. Contracts have innovative automation and technology language which set clear goals for worker retention, job training and re-training, access to new jobs that are created due to technology, advance notice of implementation, and severance package based on years of service if workers are laid off. The Culinary Union will be monitoring the situation closely and continue working with affected workers to ensure that the company follows the contract. - Geoconda Argüello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union
MGM has not released how many jobs it expects to be impacted.