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McDonald’s $25 Deal Angers Customers, Shows Damage California’s $20 Minimum Wage Is Doing to Fast-Food Industry

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Soaring inflation


The soaring inflation during Joe Biden’s presidency has reached a point where certain Americans can no longer afford to dine at McDonald’s.

Minimum wage


The implementation of a $20-an-hour minimum wage in California has further worsened the situation, leading to fast-food chains, once known for their affordability, raising prices and upsetting customers.



For the second time in three months, California has raised its minimum wage. In January, the state raised the minimum wage from $11 to $16 per hour.



A TikTok user expressed frustration after paying over $25 for a 40-piece Chicken McNugget meal, complete with two large fries but without a soda. Traditionally, McDonald’s meal offers have included a beverage and French fries.

40-piece nuggets


“Okay, so it’s $25.39 for 40-piece nuggets and two large fries,” the TikTok user said. “You couldn’t even throw in the Sprite? You couldn’t even throw in, like, a medium Sprite in there? Holy crap.”

Raising the minimum wage


California’s new law raising the minimum wage for fast food workers to $20 per hour has drawn heavy criticism for its potential consequences.

Low-wage workers


While intended to help low-wage workers, the higher costs are likely to force restaurants to cut jobs, reduce hours, increase automation, and raise prices on menus.

18 million people


“A study by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office last December found that raising the federal minimum wage to $17 an hour from $7.25 by July 2029 could increase wages for more than 18 million people, but also could reduce employment by about 700,000 workers,” the Journal wrote.

Already started


Some fast food businesses have already started shedding employees ahead of the law taking effect.

Higher minimum wages


Research indicates higher minimum wages can boost some wages but also lead to job losses.

Raise prices


“Higher wages would increase employers’ costs, raise prices for consumers and depress some demand, the CBO found. Some employers would also turn to technology to try to reduce their reliance on low-wage workers,” the Journal reported.

726,600 people


“California had 726,600 people working in fast-food and other limited-service eateries in January, down 1.3% from last September, when the state backed a deal for the increased wages,” they reported. “Total private employment in the state declined 0.2% over that period, according to state figures.”

High wage mandate


Critics argued the high wage mandate will make it difficult for restaurants to stay in business and take on new hires, ultimately hurting many of the workers it aims to help through unintended consequences that were foreseeable.

Cover the cost


“Many California restaurant operators are looking for other ways to cover the cost, like reducing hours, closing during slower parts of the day or serving menu items that take less time to make,” the Journal wrote.

20 for Happy Meals


“I can’t charge $20 for Happy Meals. I’m leaving no stones unturned,” McDonald’s owner Scott Roderick said.

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