The people pushing for a $15 minimum wage have assured us that the wage hike will not destroy jobs. After all, there was this one study back in the 90’s that showed that a small increase in minimum wage didn’t immediately destroy jobs. Granted, almost every other study has shown differently but, you know, A STUDY SHOWED SOMETHING. ONCE. So we’ll assume that gigantic increases in the minimum wage will have no effect, none whatso-
Wendy’s (WEN) said that self-service ordering kiosks will be made available across its 6,000-plus restaurants in the second half of the year as minimum wage hikes and a tight labor market push up wages.
It will be up to franchisees whether to deploy the labor-saving technology, but Wendy’s President Todd Penegor did note that some franchise locations have been raising prices to offset wage hikes.
McDonald’s (MCD) has been testing self-service kiosks. But Wendy’s, which has been vocal about embracing labor-saving technology, is launching the biggest potential expansion.
Wendy’s Penegor said company-operated stores, only about 10% of the total, are seeing wage inflation of 5% to 6%, driven both by the minimum wage and some by the need to offer a competitive wage “to access good labor.”
It’s not surprising that some franchisees might face more of a labor-cost squeeze than company restaurants. All 258 Wendy’s restaurants in California, where the minimum wage rose to $10 an hour this year and will gradually rise to $15, are franchise-operated. Likewise, about 75% of 200-plus restaurants in New York are run by franchisees. New York’s fast-food industry wage rose to $10.50 in New York City and $9.75 in the rest of the state at the start of 2016, also on the way to $15.
Wendy’s plans to cut company-owned stores to just 5% of the total.
I hate to say I told you so, but … no, wait, I don’t hate that. I hate it when people’s lives and the nation’s economy are upended by the utterly predictable results of feel-good liberalism.