Study: Democrat-Run California’s Fast Food Prices Jumped Seven Percent Prior to $20 Minimum Wage

A customer places in order at The Habit Burger Grill on April 11, 2024, in San Rafael, Cal
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Fast food prices in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) California jumped during the six-month period before the Democrat-run state mandated a $20 minimum wage in the industry, according to a study.

Prices rose seven percent during that time, the New York Post reported on Friday, citing a study from Datassential.

“California registered the highest rate of menu price inflation in the country in the period leading up to April 1 — when the minimum wage increase from $16 an hour to $20 an hour went into effect,” the outlet said in reference to the study.

On April 1, the state’s $20 minimum wage mandate for fast food employees went into effect, even though concerns abounded regarding whether it would worsen unemployment and contribute to already crippling inflation, Breitbart News reported.

The outlet continued:

The new rules raise the minimum wage by 25 percent for workers at large chain restaurants and establish a Fast Food Council that will have the power to implement further hikes up to 3.5 percent each year over the next five years.

While some workers will receive raises, others are likely to lose their jobs to automation or cutbacks. Minimum wage hikes tend to eliminate jobs for the most vulnerable, least-skilled workers in jobs that do not produce enough revenue to support the high wage level.

Per the recent study’s key findings, “In the six months leading up to the wage’s effective date, all of California’s 30 area codes were in the top 30% of the highest limited-service menu price inflation area codes across the country.”

A major fast food franchisee in California, Harsh Ghai, said he is rushing to install kiosks at his restaurants to save money as the $20 minimum wage slams businesses across the state, Breitbart News reported on Friday.

Touch Screen ordering and payment kiosk at a Taco Bell fast food restaurant (Lindsey Nicholson/Universal Images Group via Getty)

During a debate in February, Democrat Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), who was running for late Sen. Diane Feinstein’s U.S. Senate seat, said she wanted a $50 minimum wage, according to Breitbart News.

Lee said, “Just do the math. Of course, we have national minimum wages that we need to raise to a living wage — you’re talking about $20, $25 — fine, but I have got to be focused on what California needs and what the affordability factor is when we calculate this wage.”

Readers can watch the exchange here:

The outlet noted that “Lee ultimately failed to answer the question” of “how that would be economically sustainable for small businesses.”


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