McDonald’s Raises Minimum Wage Costing Customers 

More fast-food chain workers are pushing for a raise in the minimum wage with restaurants shifting into paying employees, including Chipotle, The Cheesecake Factory, Texas Roadhouse, and now McDonald’s. This shift in minimum wage will benefit employees but could cost higher menu prices for customers.  
McDonald’s faced two choices in tackling this issue with fast-food chains – raising prices or slashing jobs by turning to automation. McDonald’s has already integrated automation in some locations with touch screens for ordering but has limited use during the pandemic.  
McDonald’s announced they would be working to increase the minimum pay wage in corporate-owned stores across the US with the hopes of bringing on 10,000 workers in the next three months at 650 stores. On average, the wage increases in on average 10% with entry-level positions ranging from $11 to $17 per hour and shift managers at least $15-$20 per hour. McDonald’s will be assessing period adjustments to be evaluated on an ongoing basis to remain competitive and support the needs of the employees. 
McDonald’s has already increased wages impacting more than 36,500 workers, and expects the average hourly wage of $15 will be implemented across the US by 2024 in a phase-by-phase market approach. It seems McDonald’s will be utilizing both options of increasing salaries and incorporating automation software with 10 of the Chicago drive-thru locations testing automated orders.  
The software developed for automated orders has tested at 85% accuracy and will plan to incorporate more locations in the future in as low rollout process. McDonald’s has already experienced increasing prices due to labor shortages in the hospitality industry and supply chain problems.

Only time will tell whether this change will affect one of the longest-standing American fast-food chains for better or worse. The research for this article was sourced from CNBC.