News & Politics

Big Macs Would Only Cost 68 Cents More If McDonald's Paid Workers Double

A new study shows that doubling the salaries and benefits of every single McDonald’s employee would result in only a 68 cent increase in the price of Big Macs.

Photo Credit: Jason Patrick Ross /

A new study by a University of Kansas researcher has found that the fast food corporation McDonald’s can easily up the pay of its low-wage workers--even without substantially increasing the price of its cheap food. The Huffington Post’s Caroline Fairchild reports that the study shows that doubling the salaries and benefits of every single McDonald’s employee would only result in a slight increase in food prices--68 cents for Big Macs.

And every item on the Dollar Menu would only have to go up by 17 cents, according to the researcher, Arnobio Morelix. He examined the McDonald’s annual report and found that “only 17.1 percent of the fast-food giant's revenue goes toward salaries and benefits.”

Many McDonald’s workers get paid minimum wage, which is $7.25 an hour at the federal rate. That means that many workers at the fast food corporation struggle to get by while its CEO rakes in cash. In 2012, McDonald’s CEO Donald Thompson earned nearly $9 million dollars.

The study is being publicized as McDonald’s workers have joined other fast-food workers for a wave of strikes that have brought renewed attention to the plight of low-wage workers in the U.S. The protesting workers, who came out in force yesterday in a number of cities around the country, are demanding a wage of $15 per hour and the right to unionize.


Alex Kane is former World editor at AlterNet. His work has appeared in Mondoweiss, Salon, VICE, the Los Angeles Review of Books and more. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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