How Much Would A Big Mac Go Up In Price If McDonald’s Workers Were Paid $15 Per Hour?

Update: After questions concerning the study at the center of the earlier post wondering how much a Big Mac would go up in price if workers were paid more, over at Forbes the story has been updated and corrected.

As we noted in the original post, the work of Arnobio Morelix is the result of one person’s number-wrangling. It appears he wrangled those numbers without taking into account the franchisee model or multiple “other factors,” Clare O’Connor writes in the update.

In all likelihood, McDonald’s would probably figure out a way to keep a Big Mac the same price, notes another Forbes writer, Tim Worstall, on the topic.

Just another reason to keep crunching those numbers, people. The more the merrier.


Now that everyone’s talking about how one can (or cannot) live off the budget of a McDonald’s worker making somewhere in the realm of $7-$8 per hour, and employees are going on strike with other fast food workers in an effort to raise that minimum wage to $15, thought wheels are a-turning. Namely, what would a wage increase for workers mean for the customers? Will buying a Big Mac mean piggy banks smashing everywhere?

Because people are thinking with their stomachs and wallets and we are always hungry/in need of saving money, one curious researcher did some number-crunching to come up with an answer. The people must know if McDonald’s food will break the bank or barely make a ripple when and if workers earn more money.

Clare O’Connor of cites the number wrangling of Arnobio Morelix, who found himself wondering if he’d have to dig into his couch cushions in a world where fast food workers make $15. According to his math — and we’re sure there are plenty of others crunching the numbers out there — if workers’ salaries doubled, that doesn’t mean the price of certain items would also increase by 100%.

Morelix found that if workers get the $15 per hour they want, a Big Mac would cost $0.68 more than it does now, up from $3.99 to $4.67. Want a whole meal? That’ll be $6.66 instead of $5.69. And the Dollar Menu would likely need to be renamed because items would cost $1.17, Morelix said.

Of course, this is just one scenario, predicated on something that hasn’t come to pass. One would assume that if McDonald’s could get away with charging $0.68 more for a Big Mac, it would. Only time will tell.

More on the fast food workers strike in this MSNBC report.

How Much Would A Big Mac Cost If McDonald’s Workers Were Paid $15 Per Hour? []

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