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How has California's new fast food minimum wage affected menu prices?

New numbers show California's fast food wage increase's impact on prices
New numbers show California's fast food wage increase's impact on prices 02:40

CITUS HEIGHTS — The first numbers are in to show the impact of California's increase in fast-food worker salaries on consumer prices.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, Chick-fil-A led all fast food restaurants with a 10 percent rise in prices across the state. Starbucks, Shake Shack, Chipotle and Taco Bell also reported significant price hikes.

Saru Jayaraman with the nonprofit organization One Fair Wage is calling for a $20 minimum wage for all California employment sectors. She rallied at the California State Capitol for new legislation to follow the lead of fast food workers.

"Non-fast food restaurant workers are saying, 'What about us? We, too, we deserve to be paid $20 an hour, too. We shouldn't all have to go to fast food to get a better wage,' " Jayaraman said. 

The California Restaurant Association is warning that more increases to the state minimum wages will be bad for businesses. A spokesperson issued a statement reading, in part: 

"Daily headlines have chronicled job losses, reduced working hours, restaurant closures, and higher prices for California's inflation-weary consumers as a direct result of this minimum wage hike."

For fast food connoisseur Craig Allen of Citrus Heights, he's looking for deals and is not worried about worker wages forcing higher prices.

"Competition is going to—they might try to raise the prices, but then they're going to lose customers. They're going to have to bring prices back down," Allen said.

There is a measure on the statewide ballot this November that will give voters an opportunity to raise the state-wide minimum wage to $18 an hour. Two dollars less than fast-food workers right now.

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