What The McDonald's CEO Thinks About A $15 Minimum Wage

As 2021 continues forward, frontline and essential workers that have had to bear the brunt of the pandemic might see some gradual relief as a result of their efforts to keep America running. According to the Economic Policy Institute, Congress must make a decision on The Raise the Wage Act of 2021, a bill that would incrementally raise the minimum American wage to $15 an hour by 2025. Proponents of the legislature claim that the bill would not only raise the standard of living for Americans of any economic status, but also reduce poverty, advance gender, and racial justice, and benefit anyone looking to start a family or find greater job security, all while presenting a minimal economic strain. 

As groups like Fight For $15 continue to raise momentum for this legislation, other business organizations have pushed back (via Fight For $15). Notably, The National Restaurant Association came out in firm opposition to the proposed bill and has actively lobbied against it (via Newsweek). While this trade organization has made their voices heard in Washington, some CEOs of Fortune 500 companies have broken ranks and vocally opposed The National Restaurant Association's stance. The CEO of Mcdonald's is one of the most notable figures to voice their support of a $15 minimum wage. 

McDonald's no longer opposes raising wages

McDonald's announced in 2019 that it wouldn't support or aid in the lobbying to keep minimum wages down. This year, Chris Kempczinski, CEO of the Golden Arches, stated that minimum wage will most likely raise at a state level regardless of what happens to the national bill, and federally mandating a new wage can't hurt business (via Newsweek). McDonald's isn't alone in openly supporting (or at least not publicly opposing) a higher minimum wage. Executives from Domino's stated that they already pay their workers above minimum wage, while Denny's executives said rising wages have never hurt restaurants in the past. 

Executives at Texas Roadhouse also voiced support of raising the wage and said that employees not only have the chance to receive a higher base income but also retain their regular amount of tips. However, some companies, like The Cheesecake Factory, continue to stand in opposition of the bill and support efforts to hamper it, despite also publicly acknowledging that a pay raise to $15 couldn't harm business. 

In the next few years, we might see some real change for employees who help feed America. The bill could have large ramifications across the United States, and for all we know, McDonald's stance may help swing government policy.