Today, the minimum wage in Florida increased by $1 per hour. The minimum wage for non-tipped employees in Florida is increasing from $11 to $12. For tipped workers, the rate’s going from $7.98 to $8.98.

Minimum wage has increased from $8.56 per hour to $12 per hour in three years- that is a 13 percent annual increase. I still can’t go through a drive through without them screwing up my order, and in that same time period, the cost of a Big Mac meal has gone from $7 to over $12- which is a 23% annual increase.

At Denny’s, 2 strips of bacon, two link sausages, two eggs, and two pancakes. This is the breakfast that Denny’s calls the “Original Grand Slam.” Sold for $1.99 in 1997. By 2021, that same breakfast cost $9.49. That works out to an annual inflation rate of 6.7%. Now here we are in 2023, and that same breakfast is now $11.99, or a 26.3% increase in the past two and a half years. That’s a 10.5% annual increase.

Price and wage controls don’t work.

Categories: Price Controls


joe · September 30, 2023 at 8:32 pm

sounds like build back better to me…

    It's just Boris · September 30, 2023 at 10:35 pm

    Just that much closer to true automats being broadly rolled out. It’d be cheaper to have one well-paid service tech on the payroll, vs 10 or more minimum wagers. Probably the most expensive part would be maintaining the hardening against theft and vandalism.

    Or for you classic science fiction fans, another step towards McSwiney’s.

Dirty Dingus McGee · September 30, 2023 at 9:16 pm

My first “real” job, part time after school at a machine shop, in late 1973 paid $2.10 per hour. Minimum wage was $1.60 so I thought I was shitting in high cotton. Beginning of 1974 minimum wage went to $2.00. So much for the high cotton.I kept the job thru high school and did move up the food, and wage, chain over time.

Local Hardee’s charges $4.29 for a $2.00 bacon egg and cheese biscuit. Conversely a local breakfast joint charges $4.50 for a bacon and egg on toast sammich, with far more bacon and egg in it. An added benefit is that the local joint has yet to screw up my order, which seems to be a 50/50 shot at ANY fast food joint.

Jonathan · September 30, 2023 at 10:22 pm

I always use deals in the app at McDonald’s; even then it’s almost prohibitive.
Unfortunately, it’s the only fast food within 50 miles of me…
The hot counter at the Maverick gas station a block from McDonald’s is competitive and for some items better, as well as faster.

unfortunately, I don’t see a slowdown to these price increases.

Big Ruckus D · September 30, 2023 at 11:21 pm

I’ve largely sworn off fast food. I’ll eat at selected Culver’s locations (if I know the franchisee runs it well) and a local chain of roast beef sandwich places that is a little bit like Arby’s, but isn’t total dogshit like Arby’s. The latter, however, is now nicking people for $15 for a large combo meal (large fries and drink), and that has caused me to minimize my trips there as well. Well, so too has the noticeable decline in quality from my childhood, when they were truly excellent.

I haven’t set foot in a McDoodie’s, Taco Hell, White Castle (where the staff generally isn’t) or any of the other mainline fast food hellholes in at least a few years now. Have been to a Denny’s once in the last 6-8 months, food was barely passable, and service was kind of a joke. No real reason to go back, that’s for certain.

I know a number of restaurant operators from my work as a tradesman, and they are shitting bricks over staffing, even more than food costs (which are going up again). The number of closures has clearly picked up pace from June through now. Just off the top of my head, I can count 3 Arby’s, 5 Hardee’s, 3 Burger King’s, and one of the aforementioned roast beef joints all closed here locally since early summer. Numerous non-fast food eateries also (some chains, some one offs) have bailed. And we are still in the opening acts of this downturn. It is interesting to see a few new places under construction presently, I wonder if any of them will even make it, opening into the maw of what I expect to be a depression.

C · October 1, 2023 at 8:27 am

What’s pretty crazy here is that I haven’t seen a minimum wage ($7.25) job since 2016. One local guy decided to start a landscaping business around that time with minimum wage as the starting pay. He started bitching “Nobody wants to work”. Meanwhile all his competitors in the neighboring counties start at $10-13. McD’s starts at $10 an hour. No government needed to make this happen. The market decides what you’re paid. This doesn’t just apply to the worker. It’s a sword that cuts both ways.

Elrod · October 1, 2023 at 10:56 am

I knew I retired from the business automation field too early.

I’ll second Ruckus’ points (above), lots of existing fast food franchises will crash, very hard, and disappear, what’s left will be as fully automated as possible and quality of any kind will be a thing of the past.So will every other business that’s successful, especially anything that’s even slightly labor intensive. The downside will be the customers will be carrying the heavier burden to buy from them because there won’t be enough employees to do the work. Think: every store just like bulk warehouse stores (Costco, Sam’s, BJ’s, etc.) where the customer does everything and every checkout is heavily guarded self-checkout.

Even Amazon – they’re just about at the point of maximum automation and still short of employees (the only biz I know of that’s farther along is an outfit that’s where Great Britain used to be that’s already reached max automation and minimum manual labor – which has gotten almost prohibitively expensive because “minimum manual labor” does not mean cheapest manual labor – when the numbers go down severely the quality has to go up, and that costs).

    Big Ruckus D · October 1, 2023 at 1:44 pm

    A couple of other thoughts I’d add, @It’s Just Boris made mention of hardened automats. I expect this will become a bigger thing going forward, as well. Not only because of lack of staffing to run conventional fast food places, but because the security risks of conventional counter service at restaurants and convenience stores has already become an acute problem in many locales.

    Then there is the cost of build out for a conventional restaurant. Even if one does a carry out only concept with no dine in, it has gotten prohibitively expensive to build a free standing structure with all it’s required equipment and facilities. I’m floored by some of the figures I see to put up a new, fairly ordinary fast food outlet.

    Utilizing a strip mall space (which is always and everywhere leased, of course) may be a bit less in the long run, assuming lease rates don’t become unworkable for the business model. But this also quite often precludes the possibility of a drive through window (unless on an end cap with a lot layout that is adaptable to such use). Many chain operators will not want to locate in a strip mall inline space, preferring to be freestanding.

    Of course, with inflation making the cost of eating out unworkable for so many now, even an automat type food dispensary may be a tough sell. As to super-automating existing fast food, I can see more movement in that direction. But the reliability (or lack thereof) of the equipment will be a potential deal breaker. Hell, McDoodie’s can’t even keep their soft serve dispenser working with 95% uptime at most locations. And they are going to automate most of the kitchen?

    I remember in the late 80’s, some Hardee’s had an automated soft drink dispenser called CIRO-D (computer integrated restaurant operation – drinks) that would drop a cup on a conveyor, fill it with a predetermined ice fill (by size) then position the cup under the flavor to be filled, finally moving it over to a staging area to be grabbed by staff and given to the customer. This was all controlled by data input from the POS system, so if the order entered had a medium Sprite, that’s what the machine was supposed to automatically make. When it worked, it was slick to watch. When it screwed up, it was hilarious (to the observing customer anyway). Those had to be hugely expensive, and they were all removed and probably shit canned within 5-6 years of their initial roll out. The tech is far better now, in terms of level of advancement. But, that complexity may also be it’s weak spot.

Jester · October 1, 2023 at 11:07 am

There’s a lot of those jobs going unfilled, and in some areas yeah I get the cost of living is so high to make working those jobs not worth it. Esp when you can get .gov handouts. But this is the vicious circle we speak of. Raise minimum wage, let inflation goes unchecked and your chasing after ghosts. You can’t raise the minimum wage or any wages enough to compensate for inflation, and you can’t expect when you raise those wages to not have inflation. Costs have to go up when wages are raised. Period.

JNorth · October 2, 2023 at 4:47 pm

Saw someone outside the grocery store the other day trying to get signatures to raise the minimum wage here (I think it’s $7 or 8 something). Don’t see the point here, the fast food joints are all starting at $15/hr and Home Depot is $20/hr. Still can’t find anyone to work.

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