Fast-Food Wages Are Going Up—but Not Enough, and Not for Everyone

Pay raises will only affect a small set of restaurant-chain employees.
Apr 8, 2015· 0 MIN READ
Willy Blackmore is TakePart’s Food editor.

After nearly three years of protests, the conversation about wages and fast food is finally changing. A tiny slice of McDonald’s workers are getting a raise, and on Monday, Domino’s CEO Patrick Doyle hinted that pay could go up for his employees too.

“We’ve gotta pay more to get people right now,” he told CNBC. “The great news is the economy is moving, it is getting better, it’s getting harder to hire people.”

None of that, however, will stop fast-food workers from striking in 200 cities on Tax Day. Because, as Larry Wilmore pointed out on his show Tuesday night, raising wages for just 10 percent of McDonald’s employees is little more than an empty gesture—if not a more offensive one coming from the heads of the corporation.

At Domino’s, too, any raises would only affect workers at company-owned restaurants, which are just 10 percent of locations.

For some outside perspective, Wilmore invited a mayor to address the issue of fast-food wages. It’s comically clear that Mayor X (or McX, as Wilmore calls him at one point), who asked to remain anonymous, is McDonald’s Mayor McCheese.

Unsurprisingly, Mayor X is less concerned about the government—or anyone else, for that matter—saying how much fast-food workers should be paid. “I think the only thing the government should do is tell poor people where to eat,” he said.

His suggestion for such a federal edict? That family-friendly burger joint with the golden arches out front.