$15.00 an hour is not too much to demand.


On Thursday, May 15th, fast food workers around the country and the globe are set to stage the largest fast food worker strike in history. It’s the latest in work site actions that have been growing since the “ Fight for 15 “ was launched in the fall of 2012, and it’s expected that workers in at least three Wisconsin cities will participate in the movements demands for $15.00 an hour and the right to join a union at places like McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and the like.

Beyond the usual arguments from the conservative talking heads who claim that raising the minimum wage at all will usher in the equivalent of an economic catastrophe, I often find that even liberal leaning people are reluctant to get on board this wage hike, posting comments on Facebook or blogs to the effect of ” well, $15.00 an hour is a lot to ask for flipping burgers. ”  Actually, it’s not.

Enter ” Moo Cluck Moo ” a bovine and yard bird themed fast food joint in Dearborn Michigan that pays its employees, wait for it……  a minimum of $15.00 an hour. They derive their name from their menu which is comprised of  burgers, chicken sandwiches, veggie sandwiches,  fries, milkshakes and assorted high fructose corn syrup free soda. They make their food from better ingredients, prepared fresh, and their prices are actually comparable to every other fast food joint out there.

By now you’re probably asking yourself, ”  wait a minute, how do they offer better food at a comparable price and still pay their employees $15.00 an hour? ”  I’m glad you asked.

When asked that very question by Huffpost Live last fall, Moo Cluck Moo CEO Brian Parker said, without blinking an eye, ” we like to spread the wealth around….. we’re not greedy. “

So Parker and his co-owners provide a better, fresher, healthier meal to their customers, pay their employees a living wage, make a good living themselves, and don’t rely on taxpayers to subsidize their workforce with medicaid, food stamps, or other forms of public assistance, like McDonalds, Burger King and the rest of their ilk do. What a concept.

So the next time someone tells you a living wage is unrealistic in either the fast food industry, the retail industry, or elsewhere, you can remain within the bovine metaphor employed so cleverly by the Moo Cluck Moo franchise and simply reply, ” that’s bullshit. “



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6 thoughts on “$15.00 an hour is not too much to demand.

  1. SC,
    That may be true. Partially anyway. But I didn’t see where/if the MI joint was offering health ins. along with $15/hr. ??
    A similar topic came up on BB a while ago where I referenced Craig Culver as paying his full time employees a higher than minimum wage plus benefits and advocating a “two tier” wage scale. Essentially the adults who work full time is one tier and the part time kids tier two. One makes better money with benefits and the other the minimum. Plus there are managers involved so there is probably another tier.
    Question: Should the part time kids make $15 also?
    Moo Cluck Moo sought out a received some kind press for their 2 stores. Let’s see where they are at a few years.

  2. IG,

    I think a better question than the one you asked is, should fast food joints adhere to federal labor law and not retaliate against workers seeking to organize a union? Or another better question would be, what are your thoughts on the taxpayer subsidizing of McDonalds health insurance costs via the Medicaid eligibility of most of their workforce. Or perhaps a third better question would be, doesn’t the philosophy of Moo Cluck Moo seem to be a win/win/win approach, rather than a profit at all cost approach?

    When we’ve tackled these larger questions I think there might be time for your smaller questions.

    1. I thought we were talking about the smaller question. ??
      The larger questions are valid, but, as I said to Zach, I don’t know how to rein in corporations, food or other. Ban corporations? Insist share holders demand less?
      We do agree, MCM, Culver’s and hopefully many other employers demonstrate what we see as “win/win”.

  3. Look, when companies can pay their CEOs tens of millions of dollars per year for squeezing out a few more pennies of profit, it’s clear those same companies could afford to pay their employees a living wage and perhaps even create a new group of consumers in the process.

    Steve’s absolutely right that the model of Moo Cluck Moo is a win/win/win approach, and it’s an approach I wish more companies would take, because our economy would be better off for it.

    1. I think we’re pretty much in agreement here. Nothing against MCM and their 2 whole stores, but they just stole a page out of Culver’s playbook that’s been around since ’84 with hundreds of stores. They both prove you can pay more and still profit.
      I don’t know how to rein in corporations be they fast food or otherwise.

  4. Until this happens, make it YOUR business to find living wage businesses and support them. They are out there.

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