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$20 Minimum Wage Hike: California Fast Food Chains Feel the Pinch as Owners React with Cost-Cutting Measures

Fast food chains, including Starbucks, McDonald’s, Shack Shack Jack I the Box and Chipotle plan to raise menu prices as California’s mandatory minimum wage for fast-food workers set to jump to $20 an hour for fast-food workers on April 1. Locations are from top left; a Starbucks coffee shop in San Francisco; a McDonald's fast food restaurant in Belmont; a Chipotle restaurant in Los Angeles; a Jack in the Box restaurant in Santa Clara; and a Shake Shack in San Francisco.

California’s new law raising fast food workers’ minimum wage to $20 per hour has led restaurant owners like Lawrence Cheng to cut staff hours and raise prices to manage increased labor costs, despite initial job growth in the industry.

California’s Fast Food Workers Now Make $20 per Hour: Owners Respond by Cutting Hours

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Lawrence Cheng, whose family owns seven Wendy’s locations south of Los Angeles, is dealing with California‘s new law that raised the minimum wage for fast food workers from $16 to $20 an hour. To manage the higher labor costs, Cheng has reduced the number of workers per shift from nearly twelve to seven and started working more hours himself. He hopes the busy summer season will help cover the extra costs but is unsure about the future.

Experts say it’s too soon to know how the wage increase will affect fast-food restaurants in the long run. Even with the higher wages, the industry has added 8,000 jobs in the first two months after the wage hike. Supporters of the higher wage argue that it brings in better job candidates and lowers turnover. However, many fast food owners, like Juancarlos Chacon of Jersey Mike’s, are raising prices and cutting hours to cope with the increased costs.

READ ALSO: 1.5 Million Borrowers Rejoice: Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program Resumes – Simplifying Student Debt Relief

$20 Minimum Wage Hike: California Fast Food Chains Feel the Pinch as Owners React with Cost-Cutting Measures (PHOTO: YouTube)

Mixed Reactions Among Fast Food Workers to California’s Wage Increase

Some workers, like Julieta Garcia at Pizza Hut and Howard Lewis at Wendy’s, are happy with the higher pay and the positive changes it brings to their lives. But others, like Enif Somilleda at Del Taco, face more work with fewer employees per shift, even though they earn more money. Governor Gavin Newsom defends the wage increase, saying it’s necessary to give fast food workers a living wage and support their well-being.

READ ALSO: 85% Of Taxpayers Warned: Beware Of IRS-Targeted Scams And Fraudulent Fake Clean Energy Tax Credit Claims

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