Following the raise in the minimum wage for fast food workers, the accessibility of fast food restaurants as low-priced establishments has come under scrutiny

The minimum wage for fast food restaurant workers in California in 2024 has risen to $20/hour — more than the minimum wage for all categories of citizens in most American states. For instance, for doctors, it will be $25/hour, which is not significantly higher.

According to a study by the financial consulting company FinanceBuzz, over the past 10 years, fast food prices have more than doubled. The cost of french fries, burgers, and popular beverages is increasing faster than inflation.

The prices at McDonald’s are rising the fastest — the prices have doubled. In major US cities, the cost of a regular lunch reaches $16. Fast food customers have already begun to complain about the excessively high prices.

Franchise companies are trying to keep prices in check by reducing staff, primarily through cuts to delivery service employees.

However, layoffs are not the only way for fast food chains to balance the books. Restaurants are raising prices on all menu items by 8-10%. Of course, consumers notice the strain on their wallets.

Americans are outraged by the record increase in fast food prices. If it used to be one of the most affordable dining options, today an average family of four has to pay at least $150 for a regular lunch.

But the problems go much deeper than just the increase in delivery and other services. The scariest part is that the quality of the products is decreasing.

Establishments are cutting costs on everything: they provide fewer napkins, sauces are now charged for, and there are no longer free packets of ketchup/mustard/mayonnaise or drinking straws freely available, and so on. In some McDonald’s restaurants, customers are no longer allowed to refill their sodas themselves because some visitors started bringing empty containers and filling up full bottles with free soda.

Continuing to frequent their favorite fast-food establishments, more and more people are trying to save money by cooking their favorite dishes at home. It’s much cheaper, more convenient, and more enjoyable than constantly eating out.

However, statistics show that as soon as prices stabilize, California residents will gladly abandon their home routines in favor of fast-food service.

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