McDonalds plans to roll out self service kiosks to replace workers. Yup, higher cost can’t just disappear. Either they cut costs or raise prices. In case of McDonalds, where the customers are quite price sensitive, the cost cutting is on the way. With demand for higher wages, I expect more automation.
So always beware that most things in life are not free from economics principles.
In case of the Seattle $15 law, the verdict is still out there but its effects have been so far modest. There has not been a real increase in unemployment but work hours have been reduced and do expect to see more automation in those industries that use minimum wage workers.
So what the minimum wage workers do? Well, thankfully, we still have the sharing economy. This is not a panacea and services like Uber/ Lyft are trying to automate as fast as possible. However, for now, they can make a living through the gig economy. But long term, there should be some policy assistance that could help increase the skills of the minimum wage workers.