Pay McDonald's Workers $15/Hour, Increase Big Mac Prices by 68 Cents

A research assistant crunched the numbers to see how much it would take to pay workers a living wage

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The price of a Big Mac would only increase 68 cents to double the salary of every McDonald's employee.

Just as fast food workers across the nation are walking out to protest for higher hourly rates, some quick math shows us that doubling every McDonald's worker pay would only increase a Big Mac price some 68 cents.

Arnobio Morelix, a research assistant at the University of Kansas School of Business, told the Huffington Post that after looking at the 2012 McDonald's annual report, he found that only 17.1 percent of McDonald's revenue actually goes towards salaries and benefits. That means that for every dollar that Mickey D's earns, 17 cents goes towards paying all 500,000 of their employees, from line workers and cashiers to their executives.

So if the fast food giant doubled everyone's salary, an additional 17 cents of every dollar would go towards salaries and benefits. That means to pay workers the $15 they're asking for, and to double CEO Donald Thompson's salary, the price of every item would only need to go up 17 cents for every dollar. So a Big Mac, currently priced at $3.99, would increase 68 cents to $4.67.

A Big Mac Meal would be $6.66 instead of $5.69, while anything on the dollar menu would just be $1.17.

McDonald's has yet to respond to this current math, although the fast food company has received plenty of flack in the last couple weeks thanks to their faulty suggested budget for workers. So far, seven cities including St. Louis, New York City, Chicago, Detroit, and Milwaukee have had fast-food workers walk out on their jobs at McDonald's, Wendy's Burger King, White Castle, and more. They're all asking for a $15 hourly wage, instead of the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

Update: Interestingly enough, Huffington Post has pulled the report, noting that Morelix's analysis excluded franchise businesses. This means that it only took into account payroll and employee benefits that McDonald's directly operates; franchises make up more than 80 percent of McDonald's restaurants in the world, Huff Po notes.


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