McDonalds President Says California FAST Act Will Kill Restaurants

The California FAST act – which would raise minimum wages up to $22 an hour for fast food workers – is on the back burner for now.

McDonald’s President Joe Erlinger said the FAST Act, legislation known as AB257, would make it “impossible to run small business local restaurants.”

California’s AB257 actually passed in fall 2022, but more than 1 million opponents signed a petition requiring the matter to be put to vote. California voters will let their opinions known in November 2024.

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Opponents were represented by a group called Save Local Restaurants.

mcdonalds presidents Says california fast act will hurt small business

Similar Legislation Introduced in Virginia

Virginia’s House Bill 2478 was introduced January 20, 2023. Parts are identical to California’s AB257 – it would create a governmental fast food industry workers standard board, which would oversee wages and working conditions.

Virginia HB2478 is currently in the House Committee on Rules.

What is AB257?

Proponents of the legislation are calling AB257 the Workers Rights Bill. What are the key parts?

  1. Would create a 10-person, state-run council to negotiate wages, hours and working conditions for 500,000 fast food workers in California
  2. Hourly wages could be up to $22 per hour, with capped annual increases.
  3. AB257 would apply to restaurants with more than 100 locations nationwide.

Would Higher Wages Mean Higher Prices?

According to McDonald’s president Joe Erlinger, the increase in the employees’ hourly wages would raise the cost of quick-serve restaurant meals by 20% or more.

The increased prices would cause consumers to cut down their visits to the establishments, which could then lead to a reduction in employees, Erlinger feels.

Erlinger also questioned what he terms “final hour exemptions” which were tacked on to the existing legislation:

It would exempt restaurants with fewer than 100 locations nationwide.

It wouldn’t apply to restaurants that bake bread on site.

Erlinger said that he would supports “responsible increases to minimum wage.” But, he added, such increases should be applied to all industries and workers.

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Lisa Price Lisa Price is a freelance writer living in Barnesville, Pennsylvania. She has a B.A. in English with a minor in journalism from Shippensburg State College (Pennsylvania). She has worked as a trucking company dock supervisor, newspaper circulation district manager, radio station commercial writer, assistant manager of a veterinary pharmaceutical warehouse and newspaper reporter.

26 Reactions
  1. The audacity of this man to say that the consumers are going to have to pay 20% more when he can easily pay his employees more considering he made 20 MILLION dollars last year! 1 person does not need 20 million

  2. Sure, this time it will destroy the fast food industry, just like every time they raise min wage.

    Executives are liars, Stop reporting what they say.

  3. Anas Saleh Aldasouqi

    Of course he is going to say that because the reality is that it won’t kill all businesses as the liar claims, rather it will kill all garbage poisonous restaurants

  4. Calif have idiot activists for legislatures. They want to kill gas stations and fast food restaurants because they believe everyone should eat veggie burgers and drive electric bicycles 200 miles to work each morning. How in h. do these democrats keep getting elected? They clearly are harvesting votes, paying off voters and local election officials, cheating the system by having multiple voters and manipulating electronic voting machines, and bussing in fraudulent ballots! No sane person would vote for these people. There is simply no other explanation unless the majority of cali voters are stupid as crackers and nuts!

    • You need activist? No we have people that look out for others we’re not just a me me State like others socialism capitalism they have their good points and bad points and if you have a pure Capital society guess what unless you’re the owner of everything you’re screwed

    • “Clearly”?

      So you have evidence?

  5. There only doing it to force automation; soon McDonald’s will be just like vending machine!! 🫵🫵🫵🫵🫵🫵🫵

  6. A small business might have issues, McDonald’s shut up. 6.5 million burgers sold a day just hamburgers. This like Verizon crying when they only made 63 billion in profit one year.

  7. This is whats wrong with this. You give more to hourly wages until the work places cant afford to pay its workers. All you people are the whats wrong here. To many cry babies. More more isnt the answer. You give rhem more money which makes everything go up in prices. That puts them in the same place as before. How stupid are you people. Apparently very stupid. Dont you stupid people ever learn from yiur miss takes

  8. It wouldn’t hurt them if the top brass wasn’t so concerned about there pocket book and would pay a livable wage im all for higher pay but also means price hikes because of greed it would fix a lot of problems if wages were increased but prices of everything was frozen for a few years (within reason ie without crippling a company) most can afford it easily and can afford to not expand for a year or two would help so meny get back on ther feet. Mcdonalds probably would bet out may 5% of their total gain but because of greed and stupidity they say they would need a 20% increase on everything witch is bs

  9. No dude, the two dollars per employee can just come out of your multi million salary. With the 200,000 world wide employed at McDonald’s you should hardly feel it. It’s not going to kill restaurants on the contrary – it will motivate the people preparing the food to do a better job resulting in better tasting meals = more profits (if you know how to run a fast food business, that is..). McDonald’s and every other restaurant chain started to raise prices ever since the minimum wage was announced it would go up, (I’m not including the latest rise the restaurant made to adjust to the current inflation. Beverage, now small size is $1.49). So they got a head start of about 2 years of charging more without the event of people actually making more and now they want to use the same excuse to raise prices yet again. Even my 10 year old knows how these so called executives work! So you tell me, who’s the ones killing restaurants?

  10. What is going to kill your business is cold food, long waits, horrible (non-existent) customer service, and high prices.

    If we had the dream visit, where everything was fast, hot and friendly, the higher prices still wouldn’t be worth it, but you offer NOTHING. You are out of touch with the reality of your service. It sucks. Expired, cold food served. Bad employees who hate their jobs. Gouging on prices so you can fly first class to your Yacht. All the boxes checked.

  11. The federal government is fighting inflation by raising interest rates aggressively. Then state governments pass laws like this to increase wages. Hopefully someone tells them that they’re in a big tug-of-war and they stop before every consumer is hosed.

  12. No leave it as it is … 22 is to much for fast food that they don’t even care to put effort into it. A blind mouse can do that job … 20 and hour is more than enough. If the prices are raised I ain’t buying this food anymore.

  13. Maybe Joe Erlinger needs to be paid less if he really cares for the good of the business before he prevents the workers who make his money from having a livable wage.

  14. Just think about how many low income workers would lose thousands of dollars when they earn too much for benefits. In the same vein, think how much more those same people will have to pay in increased payroll deductions when their gross income goes up. Any time the government manipulates a market the system becomes rigged for the rich.

  15. Not to mention increase inflation causing a vicious cycle. The economy experts say inflation is only caused by the government. Here’s a great example, keep raising the minimum wage, the company either has to close or increase costs. Boom you’ve got inflation again. And the cycle continues, now those minimum wage employees complain about money again and th e idiotic government starts all over again.

  16. This is good. McDonald’s needs to die. It’s killing so many Americans

  17. Communism pays a wage but everybody gets the same thing so it drives out small business and promotes the monopolies because in essence they get their money back and get tax breaks that small business don’t get this is the result of the greed of men when they are bribed they will sell their own families for a dollar Judas sold out God for silver.

  18. You mean we need to return to our roots and sustain off the land again. Look back to our past to rediscover the history of our ancestors and how they lived off the land. Worked together to accomplish goals as a community and not just survive but thrive. We don’t need money at all. You do realize we can be and feel more free if we removed money from the entire situation, right? You cannot take anything but your soul with you when you die. Stop dying trying.

  19. So big government unions…. right….. what could go wrong with that

  20. I remember the 1970s when all the car companies shut down forever because the emissions laws made it impossible to build a car. Or so the industry claimed…

  21. I’ve suggestion every company that has a CEO can only make let’s just say a random figure 50 times or 100 times the lowest paid employee of that company so these employees make less when the CEO should as well.

  22. Inflation at its finest

  23. Why are adults making a career in fast food? These jobs were great for high school kids and college kids. Helps them create skills in the workforce and gives them some money with having minimal skills. Keep raising the pay scale and adults fill the position, not allowing younger crowds to enter entry level jobs.

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