California’s $20 minimum wage for fast-food workers triggers nearly $2 price bump in many joints

Fast food aficionados in California might feel the pinch in their wallets as they discover the cost of their favourite meals has climbed.

Fast-Food menus in California upping prices nearly $2. REUTERS/Carlos Barria(REUTERS)

On Monday, a newly passed state law, which requires a minimum wage of $20 per hour for fast food workers, came into power. And it is already clearly seen how the bills’ menu prices are increasing because of that.

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The New York Post conducted a survey of several fast-food joints in Los Angeles to gauge whether consumers are bearing the brunt of the wage hike. The findings were inconsistent, with some chains implementing significant price increases, while others maintained their previous rates.

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Fast-food outlet, Burger King had the largest increase. A Texas-style Double Whopper meal on March 29 was priced at $15.09. On April 1, this same deal came with a higher charge of $1.8, which reached $16.89. For instance, like in the case of the Big Fish Restaurant meal, prices of the meal increased from 7.49 to 11.49 as of April 1, which implies an upsurge of 4. A considerable rise from 25 cents to $1 occurred among other items.

Not only Burger King

Nonetheless, in the case of Burger King, these weren’t the only price adjustments. As a direct result, actor Kevin Hart’s own chain Hart House hiked its prices from 100$ to 25$. Of course, there had to be an eye-popping increase in price, too, this order of large fries that had been priced at $4.49 suddenly increased to $5.99. 1,00 $ for milkshakes, no matter the size, and their ingredients cost 50 cents each for sandwiches.

In-N-Out Burger’s price adjustments were more modest. Their burgers increased by approximately 25 cents, and soda prices by a mere nickel.

Customer reactions to the price changes were mixed

While purchasing lunch at In-N-Out, one commented, “It’s such a nominal increase. It seems like a reasonable amount.”

Conversely, another one expressed his discontent at Burger King, stating, “To be honest, I don’t like it, because then everything else goes up. These people have to make a living one way or another, but then [the restaurants] have to up their prices.”

Some fast food chains, including Chick-fil-A, Wendy’s, and McDonald’s, showed no immediate change in their menu prices. Scott Rodrick, a McDonald’s franchise owner of 18 outlets in Northern California, told to CNN that he had preemptively raised prices by 5% to 7% over the past three months in anticipation of the new legislation.

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“As a business owner, when you’re dealing with this kind of extraordinary overnight change, you know, a 25% increase in wages, (no) stone has to remain unturned,” he expressed.

The law, passed by Democrats in the state Legislature last year, affects over 500,000 fast-food workers, boosting their wages from the previous minimum of $16 per hour. It targets restaurants with limited or no table service that are part of a national chain with at least 60 locations nationwide.

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