Burger King, In-N-Out and other chain locations in California raise prices after minimum wage increase: report

Prices for burgers, fries and other fast food items have increased at various restaurant chains across California, according to a recent report. 

A New York Post investigation revealed that some fast food chains in the Los Angeles area raised prices on April 1, after new California statewide legislation went into effect Monday enforcing a $20 minimum wage for restaurants that have at least 60 locations nationwide, except those that make and sell their own bread.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the legislation, AB 1228, into law in September. In addition to the pay raises, it also establishes a "Fast Food Council," including representatives for both workers and employers, that can approve further pay increases and set standards for working conditions.

"The biggest leap was at a Burger King, where a Texas Double Whopper meal cost $15.09 on March 29 but surged to $16.89 on April 1, a whopping increase of $1.80 (nearly 12%) for the same meal," the Post reported.

"The Big Fish meal also jumped from $7.49 on the menu before April 1 to $11.49 after — an increase of $4 (53%)," the report continued. "Most other items increased anywhere from 25 cents to a dollar."

Hart House and In-N-Out Burger also saw price increases at certain locations. 

However, the Post found that prices at Chick-fil-A, Wendy’s and McDonald’s did not rise, despite one McDonald's franchisee telling CNNBusiness that his restaurant has been affected by the minimum wage increase.

"As a business owner, when you’re dealing with this kind of extraordinary overnight change, you know, a 25% increase in wages,… (no) stone has to remain unturned," McDonald's franchise owner Scott Rodrick said. "And so we have looked at price, although I can’t charge $20 for a Happy Meal. My customers’ appetite to absorb menu board prices is not unlimited."

The median fast-food worker in the U.S. earned $13.43 an hour in 2022, while those in California made an average of $16.60 an hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The new minimum equates to an annual salary of $41,600.

Fox News Digital has reached out for comment from Burger King, In-N-Out, Hart House, Wendy's, Chick-fil-A and McDonald's but has yet to receive any responses.

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