So whats the cost of your favorite fast food meal if the minimum wage goes to $15 dollars per hour? The Daily Signal put together a Fast Food Menu with a before and after price guide.
Thousands of fast-food workers across 150 cities nationwide gathered today to call for a $15-an-hour minimum wage.
However, a report released today by James Sherk, senior policy analyst in labor economics at The Heritage Foundation, found that fast-food restaurants would have to boost their prices 38 percent to make up for the increased labor costs.
Such an increase, Sherk said, would drive away about one-third of these restaurants’ customers.
If fast food’s biggest restaurants decide to raise their wages to $15 an hour, here’s how some of your favorite meals would fare.
Union activists want to raise the minimum wage in the fast-food industry to $15 an hour. However, fast-food restaurants operate on very small profit margins; they could only afford such wages by raising prices—significantly. Higher prices would, in turn, drive customers away, forcing even larger price increases to cover costs. Ultimately, the average fast-food restaurant would have to raise prices by nearly two-fifths. This would cause sales to drop by more than one-third, and profits to fall by more than three-quarters. Absent the widespread adoption of labor-saving technology, the union-led “Fight for 15” would make fast food much more expensive for Americans.
Fight for 15
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has launched an expensive PR campaign calling for wages of at least $15 an hour in the fast-food industry. This Fight for 15 is part of a larger SEIU pressure campaign to unionize fast-food restaurants. Hundreds of union activists have staged “walkouts” and protests across the country demanding the higher pay rate. These protests have attracted considerable media attention. However, if the SEIU achieved its stated goal, it would hurt the budgets of millions of moderate-income Americans.
No, Fast-Food Joints Cannot Absorb Cost Increases
Artificially inflating wages would substantially increase fast-food restaurants’ total costs—labor makes up a considerable portion of their budget. Chart 1 shows the financial statements of the average fast-food restaurant in 2013. Labor costs (26 percent) and food and material costs (31 percent) make up the majority of the typical restaurant budget.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the average cook in a fast-food restaurant earned $9.04 an hour in 2013. The SEIU’s push for $15 an hour would consequently raise fast-food wages by at least 66 percent. Paying $15 an hour would raise fast-food restaurants’ total costs by approximately 15 percent.
Read More – Heritage – Higher fast food wages mean higher fast food prices