Sunday, May 29, 2016

What paying fast food workers a living wage would do to the price of a Big Mac

By Roberto A. Ferdman July 30, 2015

Would you pay 17 extra cents for a Big Mac if it meant the person who prepared it could earn a living wage? What about an extra 30 cents each time you ate out at any fast food restaurant?

These are the small prices we would have to pay on average to ensure that fast food workers around the country earned an hourly-wage of $15, according to a new study by researchers at Purdue University's School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.

"It would vary a bit, depending on where you live, but that gives you a sense," said Richard Ghiselli, who is the Head of the School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Purdue University, and lead author of the study.


At the moment, more than 1.5 million Americans working in food preparation and other related service jobs subsist on wages that are at or below the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The fast food industry alone employs roughly half of all Americans who persist on that kind of pay.

These jobs are also among the most grueling — or at least poorest paying — since operating without table service means earning money without tips.

If an extra 17 cents for a Big Mac is too much to ask, maybe people will consider accepting a slightly smaller hamburger. Ghiselli also estimated how much fast food restaurants would need to downsize their food if they wanted to keep prices the same. The answer? About 12 percent. [Since almost all Americans are overweight, downsizing the portions of the mostly high-fat food would be healthier.]


No comments:

Post a Comment