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Grand Haven (Mich.) Tribune: Fast-food workers must face reality


December 13. 2013 1:04AM
Grand Haven (Mich.) Tribune (MCT)

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It’s hard to blame them. Who doesn’t want to make more money?


But how realistic is this goal? If this initiative comes to fruition, it would more than double the wages of many of these workers.


Fast food is big business in the United States. The industry hauled in $200 billion last year. There’s plenty of money to go around, right?


But if these employees honestly think franchise owners will simply eat the loss in profits, they’re sorely mistaken.


Instead, costs would rise dramatically. Say goodbye to “dollar value” menus and combo meals for less than $5.


Do you honestly believe families would still hit the Taco Bell drive-through if their cost for a meal jumps from $20 to more than $30? Not likely.


Additionally, when the cost of paying employees skyrockets, you can bet restaurants will quickly trim down their workforce to save money, leaving some of those who petitioned for the raise without a job.


We’re all for making the most of your employment situation, but you have to be reasonable. Fast-food workers pulling in $15 an hour isn’t reasonable. Based on a 40-hour work week, that comes out to more than $33,000 per year. A lot of skilled laborers with college degrees don’t make that much.


If this effort leads to a modest raise for fast-food workers, then their efforts won’t have been wasted. But to expect a significant jump in pay is expecting too much.




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