To respond to the Do Now, you can comment below or tweet your response. Be sure to begin your tweet with @KQEDEdspace and end it with #DoNowFastfood

For more info on how to use Twitter, click here.

Do Now

Would you be willing to pay more money for the fast-food you buy so that the workers making could earn a living wage? If so, how much extra would you be willing to pay for your favorite meals? If you could change something about the fast-food industry, what would it be?


Last week, thousands of fast-food workers in more than 60 cities around the country hit the streets in front of McDonald’s, Subway, Wendy’s, KFC, and a number of other huge fast-food chains to demand higher wages and the ability to join a union.

Of the million of fast-fast workers throughout the country, many make at or near the federal minimum wage, which is just $7.25 an hour, which, at 40 hours a week, amounts to about $15,000 annually. (In a number of other states, the statewide minimum wage is higher, including California where it’s $8 an hour).

Such low earnings are considered poverty-level wages as they are not enough to pay for the basic cost of living just about anywhere in the United States. Most fast-food workers also receive little to no benefits, and pay additional expenses like healthcare out of pocket.

Despite making billions in annual profits each year, the fast-food industry argues that paying workers more would mean having to significantly raise the prices of the food that customers have grown accustomed to purchasing at incredibly cheap prices. The industry also notes that it provides millions of jobs to unskilled workers who might otherwise be unemployed.

Whereas a generation ago, a large number of fast-food workers were students working part-time to pick up extra cash, the vast majority of workers today are older than 20, and many depend on their wages to feed their families. As a result, a growing percentage of today’s fast-food workers are forced to rely on government assistance programs in order to get by.


VOA News video US Fast Food Workers Strike for Higher Wages – Aug. 30, 2013
Leading up to the Labor Day holiday celebrating the contribution of American workers to society, thousands of low-wage workers at fast food restaurants and retail stores went on a one-day strike in more than 50 cities. VOA’s Brian Padden reports that these protests are part of a labor union sponsored campaign to pressure the fast food industry to increase wages and allow workers to unionize.

To respond to the Do Now, you can comment below or tweet your response. Be sure to begin your tweet with @KQEDedspace and end it with #DoNowFastfood

For more info on how to use Twitter, click here.

We encourage students to reply to other people’s tweets to foster more of a conversation. Also, if students tweet their personal opinions, ask them to support their ideas with links to interesting/credible articles online (adding a nice research component) or retweet other people’s ideas that they agree/disagree/find amusing. We also value student-produced media linked to their tweets like memes or more extensive blog posts to represent their ideas. Of course, do as you can… and any contribution is most welcomed.

More Resources infographic The American Fast Food Worker
U.S. fast-food industry employees, by the numbers. A just-released analysis of government data by the Center for Economic and Policy Research revealed that 40 percent of fast-food workers are 25 or older, and slightly more than one in four is supporting at least one child. More than 30 percent have had at least some college education.

NPR’s The Two-Way post Largest Strike So Far By Fast-Food Workers Set For Thursday – Aug. 29, 2013
Thursday’s planned walkouts follow a series of strikes that began last November in New York City, then spread to cities including Chicago, Detroit and Seattle. Workers say they want $15 an hour, which would be about $31,000 a year for full-time employees. That’s more than double the federal minimum wage, which many fast food workers make, of $7.25 an hour, or $15,000 a year.

PBS NewsHour Extra post Why It Might Be Hard to Get a Burger Today – Aug. 29, 2013
Employees at popular food chains in 50 cities, including McDonalds, Wendy’s and Burger King, are expected to be joined by workers at stores owned by retail giants Macy’s, Sears and Dollar Tree. The strike follows a similar protest last November, when some 200 workers walked off their fast-food jobs in New York City.

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Making Fast-Food for Little Pay 8 March,2017Matthew Green

  • Evan c


  • Michelle Dwyer

    I think people should just be great full for what the are earning because there are people in this world that don’t get money

  • Colby Rog.

    In my opinion, I do not believe that the wages should be raised for the workers of fast food restaurants. The reasoning is very simple: these jobs are not meant for people who are trying to support a family. The millions of jobs provided by fast food corporations are intended for teens and young adults trying to make some extra money. It is not a problem that older people are working the jobs, I have no objection to that. However these entry level jobs are not meant for people who are trying to live off it. If they need a job that will supply them with a livable wage, then they should try to get a higher position in their company or look for another job.
    Additionally, I believe that one of the benefits of fast food is the cheap prices and in raising them it would not only provide an inconvenience to the lots of people who rely on fast food restaurants for an easy meal, but also could cause the company to have to fire employees or lose business.

    • nick s.

      Colby, I agree with your opinion on how a lot of people with this job are doing it for extra cash but I also believe that there are people out there that are using this job, most likely along with others, to support a family. If that truly is the case I would be completely ok with them making a little more money.

    • Abbie M.

      The people who are relying on fast food restaurants for an easy meal are generally the same people who rely on low paying, low skill jobs to sustain their living and their family’s. Unfortunately in our society, not everyone can further their education to have more highly skilled jobs available to them which makes fast food jobs very convenient for some people. Also, some people working at fast food restaurants are disabled and the only jobs they can get to sustain themselves. It is unfair to assume that EVERYONE working in a fast food restaurant can further their education or even look for another job, as most of those people are working two jobs, trying to provide for their families.

      In the US, we believe in equal opportunity for all. In order to protect this equal opportunity, everyone must give up certain leisures they enjoy for the good of society; people might have to start paying $1.50 for their cheeseburger instead of $1.40 to end the cycle of poverty. Looking at this question, we, the students who have access to computers everyday, we; the students who have the mental capacity to attend to high school and express our thoughts without being affected by mental handicaps, must feel understanding towards people who haven’t had opportunities like us. To break the cycle of poverty, we must be willing to give up some of the leisures we enjoy for the betterment of society.

      Although I support the raising of minimum wages, I don’t believe that $15 is necessary. Gradually, that would require every other paid, low skill job in the US to have to raise their prices, making the cost of living even higher and creating a new need for raising wages. People should be getting paid higher for working harder; those who need the job to support their families will work harder to keep a job than just the teens and young people trying to make extra money. I think that $9.04 is a realistic demand for minimum wage, seeing as though it is the highest minimum wage on the state level (

      The bottom line is, prices will raise in order to stop the cycle of poverty. It is unsafe to assume that everyone working a low skills job has the means or mental/physical capability to find a job with higher pay. The general population will have to give up the leisure of a $1.40 cheeseburger to compensate for those who have been effected by the cycle of poverty and only have these fast food jobs to make ends meet.

    • Lexi L

      You have to understand that fast food places are not just for young teens to work there, but how can a franchise continue to exist if there aren’t any workers? Some people want to work at fast food restaurants and make a good living so, I think those wages should be raised in order for these franchises to continue.

  • Caitlyn

    People should just be greatful for what they get. If thy don’t like where they work then there should go work somewhere else, but if you don’t have enough education to get a different job then they just need to deal with the fact that they ant going to get payed the amount that they want to be payed.

  • Caitlyn

    @ KQEDEdspace
    People should just be greatful for what they get. If thy don’t like where they work then there should go work somewhere else, but if you don’t have enough education to get a different job then they just need to deal with the fact that they ant going to get payed the amount that they want to be payed. #DoNowFastfood

  • Evan c

    I don’t think that McDonald’s people that work at McDonald’s should get payed 15 dollars. I do however believe that they should get 10-12 dollars. I would not mind paying ten cents more for a higher pay.

  • Christopher Boyd

    I feel that if you flip burgers a McDonald’s for a living you should not get payed more than minimum wage. You don’t even have an education. I also think it they should not raise the fast food price. It cost too much to buy fast food already today.

  • Austyn Mikolon

    I think that they are making enough now because some of the workers don’t have the education to do any other job. If they were to happen to raise the fast food prices I wouldn’t mind to much. I would pay about maybe a dollar mow for fast food since I don’t eat it all the time. One thing I would change about the fast food industry is that they tried to make their food more heathy.

  • Nick V

    In my opinion fast food workers should not make more money right now. If you need to support your family, maybe fast food isn’t the right industry. However, if you are really struggling to find a job it is important to make even $15,000 a year. While I believe that fast food workers should not be payed more, they should receive some sort of benefits. If major corporations like McDonalds or Subway provided some assistance in healthcare these people would have more money to support their families.

  • Brittany

    in my opinion i think if they do raise it why wouldn’t we just stay home and cook then go out and eat it is going to be a lot of money for what little food we get now. i mean i have a job and in one of thoughs places and i don’t get payed a lot as it is now

  • Dana Johnson


  • Andrew Johnson

    I don’t think that they should be paid more. Even if their wage is very small, it is still their fault that they are working in that occupation. It’s not like they were forced to work at a fast-food restaurant in the first place. They should know that the job requires little skill or education. It would make much more sense if you paid extra for someone who works a job related to science, dentistry, or medicine. Unlike working at a fast-food restaurant, these jobs require you to have great skill and control, and in order to hold these jobs, you need to hold several degrees from studying these fields.

    • adugan

      Saying it is someone’s fault they are working a lower-wage job is ignorant to be honest. Some people haven’t had the opportunities others have and fast food restaurants also hire people with disabilities. By not increasing the minimum wage, the cycle of poverty will continue. I think the minimum wage should be raised, but not to $15.00. That is more than a 50% increase and would have too many negative impacts. But these workers do deserve a higher salary, and personally, I don’t care if I am paying more for fast food so others’ quality of life can improve and the cycle of poverty can be broken.

      • Karli N

        Andrew does have a point though. If you want a higher paying job, go find one. I understand that not all people have had the same opportunities, but you have to put yourself out there and make the opportunities yourself. They won’t be handed to you. Also, paying more for fast food isn’t as easy for everyone as it would be for you. Fast food is cheap and some people rely on it because they aren’t able to pay a whole lot for food.

        • adugan

          How does one with disabilities or no money and no educational foundation “make opportunities” for themselves?

      • Natalie

        I agree completely! You have my support adugan…

  • Norisha Edge

    I think the workers should not be paid more money because fast-food should be a starting job for high school and college students. After college you suppose to have a life long career instead of working in a fast-food restaurant. Also the economy is already in bad condition so they need as much money as they can. Obama said buy 2015 the wages are going to go up. They should be patient because the government is trying to figure how to make their future better. They should not rush the wages increase.

  • DreamerDaniel

    @Dana Johnson:disqus @KQEDedspaceIn my opinion, I think they shouldn’t be paid more. Fast
    food industries are really for teens and young adults. Adults shouldn’t be
    working at know fast food restaurant. Teens shouldn’t be making more than
    parents but now day they do. They wages should go up just not food fast food restaurants. #DoNowFastFood

  • Josh Matla

    I wouldn’t be willing to pay more money for the fast-food I buy so that the workers could earn a living. First of all, fast-food is already more expensive than it should be and second of all, if fast-food workers are struggling to make ends meet, than they should’ve gotten a better education. Its there fault there making minimum wage because they were proactive enough or just didn’t care about getting an education when they were younger. However, It’s not too late for them either, even if their in their 30’s to 40’s because there is a multitude of online universities they could attend to earn a degree in a variety of subjects. If I could change one thing about the fast-food industry it would be to make the products healthier and make them with more quality materials.

  • Brianna Stephens

    I think they should get paid more. I would pay for food at a higher price just so that the workers can get a higher raise.

    • Tyson K

      Why should we pay more of our hard earned money to help these lazy people out?

  • Jasmine Stovall

    @Dana Johnson:disqus @KQEDedspace

    Would you be willing to pay more money for the fast-food you buy so that the workers making could earn a living wage? I do think that the workers should be paid more money but I will not agree with the raise in prices. Unless the job requires an education, the worker should not be asking for more wages unless the wage is under the “supposed to be” amount. These jobs are not supposed to be for a living, but for supporting until you get a better paying job. That is only my opinion.

  • Kaitlyn Bartling

    I think that the workers should get paid more, depending on the quality of their food. If I were to pay more, I would pay about 10 cents depending on where and what. Say it’s McDonald’s, I probably wouldn’t pay much more because of what it may be made of, like chicken nuggets are said to be made of all the parts of the chicken. Either way, it may not be their fault that they don’t have a better education. Maybe they couldn’t afford to go to college.

  • Moniecia Washington

    I think they should be paid more. You should understand that even if it is their fault that their in that situation, people make mistakes. Maybe working at a fast food restaurant was their only choice. I would be willing to pay more money for fast food because sometimes you have to think about other people for a change. Put yourself in other people shoes.

  • Aubz ✌

    I don’t think we should pay more. A fast food job isn’t a sufficient job for supporting life. It is usually a beginner job but if someone older is working their we shouldn’t be penalized for it. The point of fast food is to be fast and cheap when you don’t have the time or money. The quality of fast food isn’t good enough for us to be paying more. Personally if I could change anything about the food industry, it would be the sanitation of the fast food industry. We don’t know what goes on in the kitchen, but we all know its not good.

  • Michael Grus

    I think that the fast food industry should pay more for their workers and give them more benefits. The fast food companies are banking millions upon millions of dollars they could give more to their employees to keep thier facilites and food quaility higher. The prices of the cheap food should stay the same, but with these workers getting higher pay they would rely less on government funds. There is a fine line where they hould be paid and getting overpaid.

    • Olivia J.

      I agree that the fast food industry needs to raise their workers’s pay. I do think that $15.00 is a little too high for working at a fast food restaurant. Several non-fast food restaurants do not even pay that much to their workers. I would be willing to pay at least $1-2 more than what the prices are now. Usually working at a fast food restaurant is not a permanent job, it is usually a temporary job for those teenagers that are just starting out. I can see how, as a worker, you would want to demand to be paid more, but fast food isn’t supposed to be expensive, it is a quick way to get in and out and get what you want. $15 would be overpaying by way too much, that is not okay. I understand that the minimum wage they are receiving right now is not good at all, but they should also not be getting overpaid. This link shows that protesters are demanding for a better standard of living. If you need more money to contain decent living conditions, get another job.

  • Sarah Neal

    1. Depending on how much more i would have to pay for fast food, i would consider it so the workers could make a little more money. However, the purpose of fast food is to make it cheap and quick so that people who are in a hurry or just dont have that much money can purchase meals.
    2. I would only be willing to pay $1-2 more for fast food, which is still alot considering it is very cheap now. Fast food is supposed to be cheap so the prices should not be raised too much.
    3. If i could change something about the fast food industry, i would change the fact that things are so unhealthy. Even salads that they sell still have just as much fast as something unhealthy, like a burger. I understand that it is hard to make things healthy when it is supposed to be put together quickly, but I would at least try.

  • Maggie Nelson

    I wouldn’t be willing to pay more for fast food in order that the workers be able to get more money because I don’t believe that those jobs should be made for people to live off of. Since I don’t think that the prices should be raised I wouldn’t go any higher than they already are. If I had to I wouldn’t pay more than 8 dollars a meal for the food because any higher than that would make it worth it to not eat there and just take the time to make my own food for a lot cheaper. If I could change something about the fast food industry I would make it either healthier or inform people about what they are eating since it is one of the biggest reasons for obesity in out country.

  • Maciah Thomas

    I would consider raising the wages for fast food workers, simply because fast-food is one of the biggest industries in America. They should equally distribute the corporate money among the working class. The job that fast food requires isn’t necessarily as easy a people think, so they deserve higher pays, but not very much.

  • Allie Hallman

    I honestly don’t think that they should be paid more. It’s their fault that they didn’t do well in school and that’s the only job that they could get. If they’re working at a fast food restaurant because they’re a cologne student I still don’t think that they should get paid more. If they want more money then they should pick up more hours.

    • Tyson K

      There are other opportunities in the rest of the country that they can pursue. Totally agree 100%.

  • Brian Keen

    No, I don’t believe that they should increase their pay, studies suggest that about 75-80% of people working these kinds of low end jobs are you typical high-school or college student that are making a decent wage for what they have to pay for on their own, for that other 20% of people, probably are in a higher position of power such as manger and they don’t really apply here.

  • Michael Cardenas

    personally I would be willing to pay more money for the fast food that we eat in order to give our workers more income and a better chance at what they so desperately work for, a living. For those that believe that “they deserve it”bare wrong; everyone should be given a second chance. I would be willing to pay $3-5 more that what the current prices are at. One thing I would like to change about the fast food industry is I would try to make the healthy food more appealing and in general make all the food healthier. People usually don’t realize how harmful unhealthy food really is and don’t take care of themselves.

  • Chase H

    I think the point of fast food is that it is very cheap. The amount of profit these companies make anyways on their ‘Dollar Menus’ is huge. They obviously don’t need to charge anymore then they do for their cheap food. I think fast food workers should not get raises because for the longest time they have been fine, but all of a sudden they need more money. I would not pay more for fast food when companies are able to pay more but choose not to. #smesfilm

    • Dakota J

      I live in North Dakota and right now we are going through a large oil boom. Fast food restaurants were always getting paid $7.25 (minimum wage) before this boom hit. Since the oil boom has increased population and need for resources we all do need a lot more money, and personally if it means that those workers at McDonald’s are getting paid what they should then I’m totally fine with not have a “dollar menu”. In Dickinson, North Dakota workers at McDonald’s are starting out at $15 an hour.

  • RemiK

    I believe that if the workers receive higher wages then the number of employment rate of fast food restaurants will significantly decrease. If the workers are O.K. with this then by all means raise the wages. #smesfilm

  • Delanie Spector

    I do not think that we should be paying more for fast food just so that they can raise the wages for the employees. This type of job doesn’t require even a college education. Now, all of these people might not have had the opportunity to go to college but this is the job that they have. Just because you don’t have a college degree doesn’t mean you can’t still try hard and get a different job. I don’t think that we should have to pay more for the choices that these people have made.

  • John Rubenacker

    It’s sad that fast food workers don’t make a whole lot of money, but if they really need to get more they should just work hard towards getting another job. I’m not going to pay more money because the workers want to work an easier job and get a good amount of money at the same time. #smesfilm

    • Dakota J

      So what you’re saying is that you would be totally fine with all the workers that keep the fast food restaurants in your town to just go and get another job? This would mean that the restaurant would shut down. That leaves you without the greasy fast food that you more than likely love to eat every once in awhile.

  • Jack C

    I think that these workers’ wages should stay the same because these workers seem to be doing just fine right now. They haven’t turned out to be billionaires, but they’re not expecting to be. If they want more money, they should try to better themselves to get higher-paying jobs. Throwing money at the problem doesn’t solve anything. It just makes people less motivated to work harder.

    • Wyatt S.

      You made a very good point. In North Dakota our Mcdonald’s wages are higher than $10.00 starting.

  • Brent C.

    According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Living Wage calculator, in most states, a single worker supporting themselves need to earn within the vicinity of 8 dollars an hour. A lot of fast food restaurants are already willing to pay this to their workers, so it seems unnecessary to add on to what is now considered a wage which people are able to live on. The minimum wage is not meant to support a family, that is why it is called minimum wage, not average wage, or family support wage. The living wage calculated by MIT’s Living Wage Calculator finds a middle ground in which the workers’ needs are met and they are able to live comfortably. All in all, the expertise of MIT combined with the idea that this is a minimum wage, not a wage meant to support a family, proves that workers earning what they earn now on fast food restaurants earn what they should.

    • Dylan

      Right. Way to research man.

  • Nick M

    I have no problem with a raise of minimum wage, but a $15 minimum wage is outrageous. Many middle class families survive on $10 or $11 per hour wages. While I sympathize with fast food workers and their struggles, if they truly want to make $15 per hour or more, they need to work hard at finding education and other resources to make their resume more appealing to better paying companies.

    • Zach M

      Depending on your location, the wage will vary. For example, one of the leading McDonald’s, located in North Dakota, is paying some starting employees anywhere from $15-$18 an hour plus a signing bonus. The wages are so high because of the competitive occupations in the area.

      • Nick M

        This may be true, but if every single McDonalds were forced to pay employees $15, the same demand would come from employees at other companies who want a raise in pay, something that might very well cripple the economy. I do believe McDonalds CAN afford to pay more and SHOULD pay more, but doubling minimum wage would be economically costly.

  • iromano

    I find it awful that there are millions of people in this country working endless hours still unable to provide for their family. That said, the fast food industry does not intend to provide a living for its employees, but rather a job. Unfortunately the fast food industry doesn’t take into account the realities of poverty, that many folks working in their restaurants cannot find work elsewhere. These companies treat said jobs as stepping stones, rather than permanent employment. In the long haul, a raise in wages at fast food restaurants would benefit neither the consumer nor the employee. I do believe the minimum wage is low and should be increased, but the economy is so interconnected that a raise in the minimum wage would result in a rise in prices across the board. It is a real Catch 22 situation, but ultimately, I don’t think raising the wages to 15 dollars an hour would be all that effective.

    • Ethan N

      Agreed. You have good views on the world.

  • Victor Herrera

    Yes I would be paying for fast food so that workers could earn a living wage because people neeed to feed their famaily and college students need help to pay for school they shouldn’t be working more then one job make ends meet for school . i would be willing to be pay like $1.25 $15 dollars minim is too much in this article ( by Annie Lowrey it in tells how President Obama wants to rise minimum wage to $9 dollars which i think is perfect middle found for all parties involved . I feel like President Obama wants to help the people in poverty line that work full time . This also may reduce the number of people that get help from the food bank and taking and buying groceries and less people getting evicted . go to ( to find out more

  • davidjenny

    I don’t think they should get should get 15$ an hour. But I think its unfair that waiters and waitresses get paid more and get tips where fast food workers are rarely to never tipped and make minimum wage. What explains mmy opinion is an excerpt from the 1992 movie Queintin Tarintino movie Reservoir Dogs
    On the contrary raising the wages of fast food worker wages will raise the prices of fast food. Pretty much taking out the point of taking the point of fast food because it is supposed to be fast and cheap. No one wants a 5$ burger or 5$ fries.

    • Zach M

      If a fast food restaurant is doing well, why not pay the employees a high wage? Depending on where you are at in America, the wage will vary. No fast food restaurant is required to pay a certain wage.

  • Taylor Gus

    I agree with the fact that we buy fast food because it is cheap and that’s the plus side to it. But what about these families who haven’t gotten the opportunities that we have? How are they supposed to accurately provide for their families? You say that you don’t think fast food workers should get raises because it has worked for the longest time. Saying that it has worked is not accurate, there are many families that have been struggling day to day to provide but sometimes we are blind to that fact. Times are changing and in order to do what is good for each other and the people we should increase their wages. They are demanding $15.00, which I think is a bit steep, seeing that that is almost an 8 dollar increase. Moving with the times we should make a gradual increase in minimum wage and see how it benefits the people.

  • Lauren Uhl

    @KQEDEdspace: In response to “Fast Food for Little Pay,” I believe that a job requiring minimal effort and minimal education should receive minimum wage. It is an unfortunate reality that the free market economy distributes wages as such, yet it is not the employer’s responsibility to ensure that each employee has a salary that will provide of all basic living necessities. Furthermore, fast food minimum wage jobs are often stepping stones to higher employment that give the employee the opportunity secure more meaningful employment, with higher wages. #DoNowFastfood #SMed7

  • Maliha M

    The thought of increasing the wages for fast food resteraunt employees is insane. These jobs are meant to make a quick buck in my opinion. And anyone who is trying to raise money for a certain reason or to support family members should be aiming for a more equipped job or something not in the food business. I know it may sound a little harsh but if they really need more money than branching out into other categories in the “job” world will most definetley bring in more money. But i do understand that times are hard and people really need help so the best that we can do is raise it, by at least a dollar, or more if possible!

  • Lauren G

    I believe that wages should be raised for fast food workers, but it should not be raised as high as $15 an hour– that is too much coming from $7.25. I would be fine with paying a few more cents for a burger if it meant that the people making it could feed themselves and their families. Yes, fast foods jobs aren’t necessary meant for someone who is trying to feed a family, but in some situations that is the only job that is available. People without an education or job experience cannot just easily get another job. Even for the people that it is “meant for”, such as college students, they are most likely working to pay off their student loans. All in all, I believe that the minimum wage should be raised, but not to the extent of $15, because that would end up driving customers away from the quickly increasing prices on the fast food menu.

  • Kennady Paige

    If some of these greedy companies would give some of the money that their making to their workers I think that this problem would not exist.

  • jasmine gastelum

    Would you be willing to pay more money for the fast-food you buy so that the workers making could earn a living wage? If so, how much extra would you be willing to pay for your favorite meals? If you could change something about the fast-food industry, what would it be? No i will not be willing to pay more money for fast food and i dont care about the other people trying to earn living wage. i think you should pay a dollar for fast foood.

  • Dylan

    If these workers actually wanted to make good money they wouldn’t work at fast food places. They know what they signed up for, if they want money they should get a better job. No one is forcing them to work at these places. Maybe they should start looking in North Dakota?

  • Wyatt S.

    A big portion of fast food, it that the customer gets food fast and at an affordable price. If we have to pay more for this food, the chances of business of these restaurants would go down in service. Which in the end, would make the wages the same either way. That wouldn’t be good either, resulting in the same effect. I think corporate should think about their employees more than themselves.

  • Zach M

    Fast food throughout the country varies in pay. Believe it or not, not every fast food restaurant pays minimum wage to their employees. Also, not every McDonalds has a dollar menu. Their employees have made a choice to work there. No one is forcing someone to work at fast food restaurant.

  • Dakota J

    I think that fast food restaurants should be paying their workers more than minimum wage. Fast food places are a big part of our communities and they NEED enough workers to keep those restaurants open and so people have a place to eat.

  • Preston K.

    This really doesn’t effect me because I live in Dickinson, ND where a person can walk into McDonalds and be hired on the spot for $15 and hour with full benefits. The price for food has already been increased dramatically. We don’t even have a dollar menu anymore. I could see that people in other parts of the country would get aggravated because everyone is just trying to get by and sometimes fast food happens to be a quick choice. Even getting groceries can be more expensive that eating out.

    • Zach M

      Go a couple hundred miles east, you will find a dollar menu and minimum wage. North Dakota doesn’t have it all.

  • Tyson K

    They know what they sign up by working at a fast food restaurant. If they raise their wages, how are these fast food restaurants going to make money? This will lead to them raising their food prices which would lead to less business for the cooperation. No one is forcing them to work at these establishments. -Tyson K.

  • Karli N

    Workers know what they are getting once they apply for the job. If they wanted a higher wage they should go find a different job. There are plenty of jobs out there that pay more. People go to fast food restaurants because it’s cheap and fast. If you raised the prices, people will start going elsewhere. Not everyone wants to pay $10+ for a meal that was just fried or cooked up. Most of the food from fast food restaurants aren’t worth it.

  • Alex P

    If you put in so many hours a day, so many hours a week, and get paid for it, I consider it a job. Some people’s income, comes from working at fast-food industry. Due to the lack of higher education needed to work at fast-food industries, a person’s income should not be as high as one in which it does. If fast-food industries are unable to pay their workers more due to making profit of their own, there should be some added benefits that can be provide to these people whose annual income comes from working in these fast-food industries.

  • Randall

    You know fast food I personally think is for young people to gain more experience starting off on a low job, but now McDonalds is paying more than people with degrees and that’s wrong. I have a friend that’s 17 and she is manager. I think the government should look into minimum wage and level out the pay for certain high ranking and low ranking jobs. GET A JOB AMERICA WHILE WE STILL HAVE OUR DIGNITY!!

  • Abby L

    I do agree that many people do work at McDonald’s to support their family. But we need to remember that they are the ones who chose this occupation. Fast food is way more expensive then it should be but to help out people who need money bad then I guess I would pay more.

  • Tyson K

    I agree 100%. Why should we end up paying more for our fast food, just to make people who don’t have an ambition to get a higher paying job satisfied?

  • Riya

    I would be willing to pay more money for the fast food because everybody deserves a little more than $7.25 an hour, but only maybe two dollars more because it is only fast-food.

  • Natalie

    I think these people are right to stand up for what they believe in!

  • Taylorr

    I don’t really mind because I don’t eat fast food but if I did I wouldn’t mind paying a little more for food so that the workers get paid more.

  • Alex

    No I would not be willing to pay more.As the workers earn enough for a temporary living until they can get an education

  • Tessa

    I would be willing to pay more money for fast food to help the fast food workers. I think I would pay at least 7-8 dollars more for the food.

  • otto

    I think that if you raised the price of fast food by 25-30 cents than each Person would get little more money, enough to buy food

  • Maya

    I am not a person who relies on a fast-food company to feed me everyday, this means that it wouldn’t really effect me ,or others like me, if they increased the price of the food. But I know that there are millions of people who DO rely on fast-food to feed them daily. If people raised the prices of the food, they wouldn’t be able to eat a full meal everyday, because they are people who buy cheap food for themselves so that they are able to feed their own families, daily, and give them the lives they want. Though this would happen if the prices were raised, others would have families that would be getting more money and better food and lives, because of the difference in the sallary. It is very hard to say what should happen, because there are ups and downs for everything

  • Natalie C.

    I would be willing to pay a little more, such as $2 for $1 food items. That may seem small, but it adds up. After all, many people can’t afford collage, but they still need jobs.
    However, I do not believe they need to do that because those higher up in the food chain line get paid multitudes more. I have been to the McDonalds headquarters in Chicago and it has a 5 star hotel, and all the workers are super rich. They could simply give them less and the lower class workers more.

  • aviv

    I’d pay $30 for french fries if it could get these guys a decent wage

    • Jasper Wu

      so would i

  • Madi

    I would be willing to pay more for fast food because everybody deserves a little more than $7.25 a hour. I would pay 2-3 dollars more.

    • Ezra

      So would I

  • Kiran

    I would not be willing to pay more for these foods. All these people need more money, but that should not come from the consumers. They should come from the company’s profit. Considering how much these company’s make, it shouldn’t be hard.

    • Ezra

      Don’t you want the people to live a normal healthy life?

      • Kiran

        yes, but the money should come from what they sell, the money that they produce.

  • Nathan

    I would definitely pay more for a burger and fries so the people making the food could earn a living wage, and I would pay as much as it takes to help these people out with their lives.

    • Ezra

      So would I.

      • Kiran

        I think that the money to support these workers should come from the companies themselves

  • Stan

    I would raise the minimum raise to $10 an hour. The whole point of fast food is that it is supposed to be cheap. Raise the prices too much and these fast food restaurants will loose all their customers.

    • Ezra

      That would be a good amount

    • Jasper Wu

      so would I

  • Francis P

    I would be willing to pay 2-3 more dollars more because I think all jobs should be able to have a salary that will support you and your family.

    • Ezra

      I think we all should.

  • Teagan Felt

    I think the minimum wage should be at least $10.00 because $15.00 isn’t enough for people who have to support a family.

    • Ezra

      Good idea

    • Stan

      you mean 7.25

      • Kiran

        you meant 7.25

    • PK

      I agree that should be the minimum wage.

  • Ellie

    I would be willing to pay a bit more for fast food, but not a drastic amount. Maybe 125% to 150% of what we pay now. I think the minimum wage should be $10-$15. If the wage increases too much, hiring requirements might increase, too. Also, I think the workers should get healthcare and protection by the Union, but that’s a whole new argument.

    • Ezra

      Quite true.

  • Jasper Wu

    I would be willing to pay more food because so that a person with a family came afford decent housing, food, and transportation. I would pay higher taxes.

    • Ezra

      As would I.

  • PK

    I think i would be able to pay 3 or 4 dollars more for my favorite fast-food even though i don’t really like fast-food restaurants. My favorite fast-food is a Robios salmon burrito and i really like it so i wouldn’t mind paying a couple more dollars to help the workers there. It must be hard to take care of your family when you don’t get payed enough money to even feed yourself.

    • Ezra

      .$3-$4 is a good amount

  • Llewnosuke

    I would be willing to pay no extra because the money would go to the ceo of the place and he has the choice to increase pay, not the workers. Or I would just not go so they lose money. Last I would just help them go on strike.

  • Christina

    I think they should have improved, healthier food options. That way, they can charge a little extra then they would even for the improved food, and customers will be okay with it, because the food is better quality. Then, everyone will be happy because the workers are payed a more, and the food is better.

    • Ezra

      Yeah they should put safer stuff in the food.

    • aviv

      that’s not the question here though, the question is would you pay more for the same food

    • Ethan N

      how will that help? by increasing the prices, less people will be able to buy, and this will react in layoffs as the ceo’s struggle to recover the net loss,

    • Dakota J

      I agree with this in so many ways.

  • Ashlyn

    I don’t eat fast-food except for maybe once or twice a year but I would be willing to pay more to pay employees better.

    • Ezra

      So do I.

  • Vivian

    I would be willing to pay more money for fast-food so that the workers could earn a minimum living wage. I feel bad for these workers because some may have come from a low income family so that they cannot pay for college. So their only choice is to work for fast food restaurants. People around my community do not worry so much about 10-20$ more a day, and we can use that money to help other people’s lives be more balanced. I would be willing to pay less than $2 more.

  • Abby

    I would be wiling to pay extra money on fast food so workers could support their own families. Even though many families rely on fast food for there cheap prices, I and many other people would support fast food, so employees can raise more money. 130% wouldn’t be a big deal to buyers, but it would make a big difference for the employees.

  • Daniel-Pablo

    I don’t really like that many fast food places, but for those who do, i think that you should totaly give some extra money.

    • Ezra

      Right on.

  • Tyler Peery

    I think they should make the min. wage 12.00 because 15.00 is too unrealistic and the buisness will die out

    • Ezra


  • lindsay

    Yes, I would be willing to a bit more for a meal at a fast food place because it could make it easier for a family to live, I would raise the minimum wage to $10 a hour.

  • Kiran

    I think the money should come from the companies

  • Bradley

    I think they could raise the prices just a by like a dollar or something, so more families can live better without losing that many customers.

  • Kamala

    I would pay a little more, about 125% to 150%. But I don’t think the minimum wage should be $15 dollars. It should be $12.

  • jhcheok

    I would pay the workers more money if I had to and the workers are not making enough money for their families. But the point of why it’s called fast food is because you get it fast and cheap. In my opinion, I would not pay more money for fast food just because people aren’ getting enough money for the minimum wage.

  • Patrick

    I think I would be willing to pay more to keep the majority of the country happie

    • Ethan N


      • Ethan N

        Don’t do it to keep them happy, do it so that they can live.

  • Patrick

    🙂 happie

    • Bridget


    • jhcheok

      happie 2

  • Soumya

    I think that we should pay more because it is unfair for people to live on the brink of poverty. We all deserve to be able to pay for our necessities and to support our families.

  • Charlotte

    these companies are cheap skates! Just pay your workers more! Is it really that hard??? And I wouldn’t mind paying more for fries and a drink either.

  • Ethan N

    These people should have raised wages. They don’t need to make millions, but they need to make enough to live. These people can’t apply for a better job, if they could, they’d have done it already. The guys who run these companies make billions, so they can stop being selfish, admit that they don’t need that much money, and increase the wages for their workers. Do these workers deserve to be sentenced to a life of poverty because their employer is greedy? No. They are people, and they deserve better than this.

  • Patrick

    lso I think it would alow the usa to spend less money on food stamps and more on paying are soldiers

    • Charlotte

      Iso???????? *I also

  • Asia

    I wouldn’t be willing to pay more for fast food. However, if they made products with better quality, like at Starbucks, I would be willing to pay. The difference between a coffee from Starbucks and McDonalds is that the one from Starbucks has more effort put into it. #ellisengilsh

  • Ryan E

    I would be willing to pay more for Fast Food. The prices are extremely cheap, like I got a meal at McDonalds for 3.76. I would be willing to pay and 1 extra per Item. That would enough for the minimum wage to be raised to $15.

    • Patrick

      that seems expensive dinner where did you get that

  • Leela

    I would be willing to pay a little more, but I think they shouldn’t raise prices too much because they could go out of business and have to fire employees, and minimum wage is better than no job at all.

  • Ujwal Srivastava

    The minimum wage should be raised. People

  • Lucas

    Even though I don’t eat fast food I don’t think people should have to pay extra for beacuse the fast food industry makes so much $$$ that they could easily double the wage of the workers and still make a huge profit

  • Sofia

    I think it is fair to pay workers more, because it is not enough money to live by. People who work at fast food chains need more money than they are receiving. If I ate fast food, I would pay more for sure! People need to earn 10-12 dollars at least.

  • Bridget

    I think that they don’t need a raise. They’ve dealt with these salaries before, what happened? Also, if they want a higher salary, they shouldn’t work at McDonalds.

  • Whitman

    I think that they should make the food options healthier, since you would pay more, giving more to the employees, and the company benifets. Everyones happy!
    #more money:-)

  • Zach

    People that work up to 40 hours a week and try to support a family deserve more than $15,000 a year. For most that is the bear-minimum on which they can survive on today. Some of these people need and deserve the money to support them and their families

    • Dakota J

      Exactly true.

  • Galileo

    We should pay more because it is unfair for someone to be payed so little. also then people might buy healthier food. I would be willing to pay more.

    • Dakota J


  • Mallory

    I think the people in the fast food restaurants should be paid at least 15$ because everyone deserves to have enough money to support a family, and I would be willing to pay more so these wages can raise. Although, I must say that no one is forcing them to work at a fast food restaurant.

  • Zharit

    I would pay more so that the people that work at fast food restaurants can live. but still thought I think that 15 dollars is a lot so I think I would be

  • carlos

    i would pay more so that people can have the money they need for they need

  • joymccullough

    @KQEDEdspace I personally will not pay an extra money for fast food, because its not worth much nor is it worthed.If I can change something about fast food, I would make it more fresh and less processed. @mrshepardAG



Matthew Green

Matthew Green produces and edits The Lowdown, KQED’s multimedia news education blog, an online resource for educators and the general public. He previously taught journalism at Fremont High School in East Oakland, and has written for numerous local publications, including the Oakland Tribune and San Francisco Chronicle. Email:; Twitter: @KQEDlowdown

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