If McDonald's Doubled Wages, Big Macs Would Rise ... 68 Cents
Researcher calculates bump to $15 an hour
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2013 3:24 PM CDT
The McDonald's Big Mac.   (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

(Newser) – 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."

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Showing 3 of 486 comments
Oct 28, 2013 2:34 PM CDT
If the minimum wage kept up with inflation, this would not be an issue
Aug 29, 2013 2:06 PM CDT
Why give them more than they are worth. These are jobs any clown can do. If you want more money get a job fewer people can do.
Aug 5, 2013 7:33 PM CDT
This is really relevant to an SNL skit called, "Olympia Cafe :Cheeseburger -n- Pepsi" The skit was based on a real burger joint Billy Goat Tavern located near a Chicago factory that operated 24 hours and had regular rush periods at shift changes. The restaurant had two main items, cheeseburgers and Pepsi. A few hundred workers would flood the place three times a day. Some were on the way to work, others were on the way home and just wanted to top off the tank and sleep better. The cook yelled, "cheeseburger, Pepsi" when he got orders. He cranked out hundreds of them per hour. Ok how is this relevant to this story? Well, you have union factory workers stopping at a popular burger joint enough to make it a popular SNL skit. Would they continue to stop there if the burgers were raised from $2.85 to $4 each? Maybe they would but some would choose to buy a can of soup from the Hormel machine in the factory lunch hall. So can Billy Goat pay $15 per hour? If sales volume stays high, maybe.