Fast-food workers want to make a "living wage" of $15 an hour. Chains say they'd have to jack up prices if that ever happened. But just how high? Turns out, not as high as you might think, at least according to a University of Kansas researcher. He found that if McDonald's immediately doubled the wages of all its workers (including the $9 million CEO), it would have to raise the price of a Big Mac 68 cents, from $3.99 to $4.67, reports the Huffington Post. Items on the Dollar Menu technically wouldn't qualify anymore, but that hike is relatively modest as well, to $1.17.
“Some folks online are complaining they will not pay $2 for their Dollar Menu, but the truth is that even if McDonald’s doubled salaries the price hike would not be 100%,” says research assistant Arnobio Morelix, who crunched numbers from the chain's annual reports and investor data, reports Forbes. He found that for every dollar McDonald's earns, about 17 cents goes to wages and salaries. Yes, a 68-cent Big Mac bump might be a lot for low-income diners, writes Aimee Picchi at MSN Money. But the nation as a whole might be better off, she writes, noting that minimum wage workers often need food stamps and other aid. "Looking at it that way, it may be a bargain to pay 68 cents more for a Big Mac."