According to a new study conducted by a University of Kansas scholar, doubling the salaries of McDonald’s employees—from the CEO to the company’s minimum wage workers—would only require the fast food giant to raise the price of the Big Mac by 68 cents. As such, the company would not have to sacrifice the low prices upon which it thrives.
As things currently stand, a McDonald’s minimum wage employee makes $7.25 per hour. McDonald’s CEO Donald Thompson made $8.75 million last year. According to the report, if the minimum wage employee’s salary were to be raised to $15 per hour and Thompson’s salary to $17.5 million annually, the Big Mac would have to go from the current $3.99 to $4.67 and dollar menu items from $1 to $1.17. Consumers would experience only a minimal difference, while the lives of the company’s employees would largely improve.
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The report cited the McDonald’s 2012 annual report in stating that the fast food chain spends only 17.1 percent of its revenue on salaries and benefits. McDonald’s executives could keep this ratio exactly the same and still double all employee salaries with a minimal increase in product prices.
The study was released on the heels of a country-spanning fast food workers strike seeking a $15 per hour minimum wage base. Advocates of the strike argue that the current minimum wage is simply not enough to get by in today’s economy. McDonald’s itself recognizes that fact, as a recent budget report released by the company suggested to workers that they acquire a second job and cut expenditures on heating as a means of making a workable living.