Fast Food Law

The Lempert Report
February 02, 2023

California has put a new fast food law on the 2024 ballot. What they're trying to do is set minimum wages. The current minimum wage here in California is $15 and 50 cents an hour. And what they're looking to do for those chains, mostly fast food chains, coffee chains, people like McDonald's and Starbucks that have a hundred or more outlets nationwide, not just statewide, they're looking to raise employee wages to as much as $22 an hour. Huge increase, great for the workers. I'm not sure what the impact is gonna be for us. When it comes to cost, does that mean that our Starbucks coffee is gonna go up, you know, a buck a cup 

Sally: Well, I hope not. But I know, you know, as someone who has lived in Los Angeles in California, it is very hard to keep up with the cost of living at $15.55 an hour. And so, you know, it does with the way that inflation is going, we, we do want to see our employees, their wages coming, you know, matching inflation so that they can afford to feed their families and, and take care of themselves. They're in addition to that, though, the restaurant industry, you know, has also experienced their own inflation. There's been inflation in, in the cost of labor and the cost of goods. And so it is a tricky situation. I'm very curious to see how this plays out, and I'm, I'm really rooting for these workers and hoping that they get the raise. 

Phil: Yeah, me too. Absolutely. And again, what we're seeing and has been reported is huge corporate profits, increased prices, fights over label. And as we talked about the end of the year, you know, one of the trends certainly that we see is that, you know, 2023 is gonna be the year of labor. We're seeing, whether it's Trader Joe's, whether it's Starbucks, other places around the country trying to unionize, to get those, you know, benefits up to get those wages up. And I think that we're just seeing the start of what's gonna be a year long effort to have more equitable wages which I think is great.