UnderCover Waitress: The Cost of a Burger

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Cost of a Burger

There is an article on the PayScale blogs about the recent protests by fast food workers in New York City. NYC is one of the most expensive cities in the USA in which to live, and yet fast food workers are still making about $8 per hour.

They were demanding not only $15 per hour, but benefits and union representation. While I agree that would raise the costs of owning a fast food franchise, I also believe that workers deserve a living wage. Employees are human beings, not tools or machines that can be used up and thrown away.

Blogger Beth Taylor asks her readers if they would be willing to pay a little more for their fast food if they knew it meant living wages for the workers. What do readers here think? Would love to read your comments, here and at PayScale. 


  1. This from Diane Carlisle:
    If I want a quality burger which costs more, I will go to a diner or a regular eat-in restaurant. In all my experiences, the quality of food and quality of service from most fast food restaurants have been horrible. I don't think some dude with bad hygiene and sagging trousers, and with a bad attitude to boot, should be making $15.00 per hour on top of union protection. If I'm stereotyping, so be it. I'm trying to make a point.

    I'd like to see fewer fast food restaurants. It's sad to know that people are working and struggling on minimum wage when the average person on public assistance is making the equivalent of 40K per year. There's abuse in all systems which go unregulated. Where's the incentive to get out on your own?

    My daughter is a server, so she doesn't even make minimum wage. What she does is gives great service with a stupendous smile, because that's what she must rely upon to make rent. On pay day weekends for the state of Florida, that means she can rake in $500.00 on the weekend. Trust me, she does not stand behind a counter and wait on customers to come to her. She's running her ass off while keeping her spirits high. That's WORK.

    I think labor work: building roads, digging ditches, manual demolitions, etc. should get paid above minimum wage. These kids in fast food need to try some hard labor and understand what making a paycheck really means.

    Construction workers' paychecks rely upon the weather. There are many folks out there who "earn" the higher dollars per hour, and sometimes at the risk of not getting any hours. They don't call it work just because you show up at your shift and drop a bucket of fries. I know sometimes they get busy, etc. Yes, it can be stressful, but not $15.00 per hour worthy.

    Just telling it like I see it.

    1. I completely agree about wanted less fast food restaurants. No fast food restaurants would be okay with me.

      Google comments didn't work for me, so I went back to the blogger comments. Nothing converted, so I copied your comments.

    2. It is kind of difficult for me to get used to the Google comments feature. I haven't converted back just yet, because of the comments not following. That's pretty messed up.

    3. Agreed. When I realized that there were comments that I had not received emails for, I switched back. I would have lost your comments if I had not had a separate window open preserving them.

  2. This from Amy Whoelse:

    All this talk of "a living wage" - most of the people I'm lookin' at across that counter spend more on jewelry and good teeth than I do...and perhaps an "acceptable behavior" clause needs to attach before a "living wage" requirement? Donno. Just a thought.

    1. Employers are within their rights and power to require "acceptable behavior." I expect you have been in establishments in which these rules are not enforced, which is sad.

  3. A proper diner is better for food, and it's kind of hard to justify union wages for fast food joints, but that kind of job is never meant to be long term. On the other hand, a living wage is not that unreasonable...


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