So much for the dollar menu! At least in one state, McDonald’s is no longer a fun, flirty family night out. The Golden Arches used to represent an opportunity for a family to go out and have a meal and not have to take out a second mortgage. The prices were reasonable, the food was, well, okay, and the kids were entertained while mom got a night out of the kitchen.
As is the case with all good things, this has come to an end. In Joe Biden’s America, folks have far less money to spend on luxuries like dining out. The dollar menu is a thing of the past, and a family of four can expect to spend a small fortune at most fast-food restaurants.
Now, thanks to a new state law, would-be customers of McDonald’s and other establishments in California will be paying more for their not-so-happy meals moving forward. McDonald’s and Chipotle have both announced they will raise menu prices in the Golden State to pay for the minimum wage increases recently voted into law.
Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed the measure, raising fast food wages to a whopping $20 dollars an hour, and at least two chains have decided to pass the cost on to unhappy consumers. McDonald’s, the Chicago-based burger chain, revealed on Monday that its revenue jumped 14% in the last quarter, citing “strategic menu price increases.” That is code for raising the prices to maintain profitability in the face of rising wages for mostly unskilled labor.
It’s a double-edged sword, as surging prices at the drive-through have forced consumers to dial back what they spend on burgers and fries. Figures show fewer Americans making less than $45,000 dollars are frequenting the Golden Arches and other take-out joints.
It is hard to blame them, as some places are charging as much as $18 dollars for a Big Mac meal. Couple that with the governmental inflation numbers that show the cost of eating out in Joe Biden’s America rose 6% in September, and it’s little wonder places are raising prices to match rising labor costs.
Over at Chipotle, Chief Financial Officer Jack Hartung recently told analysts to expect a “mid-to-high single-digit” percentage increase in menu prices. Chipotle last week reported higher-than-expected quarterly earnings, fueled by higher prices for its best-selling burritos and bowls.
Chipotle justified the increase by saying: “I think the Chipotle value, when we haven’t raised prices in over a year until this latest action, is coming through, and people are choosing to dine at Chipotle because we are very affordable.”
Whether that is the case or not, it is clear that these establishments are doing what they have to in terms of menu pricing to remain profitable. Newsom’s legislation originally called for a minimum wage of $22 an hour but was pared down to $20, which is by far the highest in the nation. The second highest is in Washington, DC at $17.
What was once an entry-level job intended for retirees to supplement their income, and pimply-faced teenagers to get work experience, fast food has now become a highly paid yet unskilled job. Sadly, the quality of food and service hasn’t kept pace with the rising wages, even if menu prices have.
In the end, higher wages for unskilled, first-time jobs are only going to hurt consumers and cost the companies revenue, which they will no doubt pass on to the customers. All of this makes for a truly unhappy meal.
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