California Food Wage


In California, jobs are up, but traffic is down

The Bottom Line: Limited-service restaurants have not cut jobs in California, despite the $20 fast-food wage. But that doesn't mean it hasn't had an impact.


Other California industries are grousing about the state's new fast-food wage

Employers in other fields say they're feeling intense pressure to raise pay. Plus, they want to see a break from the pro-labor legislation of the last decade or more.

Working Lunch: Minneapolis is essentially testing the portability of the controversial Golden State model.

Reality Check: The state attorney general had refused to clarify the scope of the state's pending anti-junk-fee law. It's one more smack in the face to the trade.

Traffic slumped, but the family-dining stalwart offered a few aha moments in its recount of what happened.

California's AB1228 pushed the fast-casual chain's wage up 20% and menu price hikes will cover the cost. But with first-quarter traffic up more than 5%, Chipotle officials are not worried.

Five units were in California but the fast-food wage there was not to blame, the fast casual said. The closed restaurants in 10 states and the District of Columbia were "underperformers."

The Bottom Line: It’s not certain yet how the $20 wage will impact chain restaurants. But one thing is clear: Most of the companies affected are small businesses that are already facing profit challenges.

The Bottom Line: The restaurant industry has a traffic problem and consumers are fretting about prices. But the $20 fast-food wage in California makes it difficult to market any kind of value.

With all the last-minute sniping by members, the next meeting of the Fast Food Council promises to be a doozy.

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