Cali Welcomes $20/Hr Fast Food and Ballooning Prices

Seika Chujo /
Seika Chujo /

It turns out the conservatives were (predictably) right again.

As California welcomed its new $20 an hour wage for fast food workers on April 1st, the impacts of their rallies and protests were visible on menus and receipts across the state. Unsurprisingly, the money to pay these workers overinflated wages was coming from the people who were keeping them employed in the first place. The New York Post checked in on multiple locations in Los Angeles and found some mixed results.

Leading the way was Burger King. Despite having royalty-inspired marketing, their prices had reached criminal levels of inflation. The Texas Double Whopper meal had been listed for $15.09 on March 26 and jumped almost 12% to $16.89 on April 1st. The Big Fish meal skyrocketed from $7.49 to $11.49 on the same days, a $4 or 53% price jump. On average, prices went up 25 cents to a dollar each.

It wasn’t just the King of fast food that went up due to the surge in wages. Comedic king Kevin Hart’s chain Hart House increased by 25% across the board. Conservative chain In-N-Out Burger was far more modest, with burgers going up by 25 cents and soda increasing by a nickel, a decision that sat well with consumers.

While complaints were heard at BK, McDonald’s, and other chains, the In-N-Out crowd was impressed with the modest increase there. Given their consistent high volume, low margins pricing model, the company is one of the few who isn’t turning this into another excuse to gouge the very people who keep their doors open. Then again, they have also been paying more than their competition and have a significantly higher standard for their employees.