Home>Articles>Trade Group Finds 10,000 Fast Food Jobs Lost Since New $20 Minimum Wage Law

Mill Valley, CA: Workers at In-N-Out location behind counter take orders. (Photo: David Tran Photo, Shutterstock)

Trade Group Finds 10,000 Fast Food Jobs Lost Since New $20 Minimum Wage Law

‘That’s a lot of jobs people needed’

By Evan Symon, June 6, 2024 4:40 pm

According to new findings by the California Business and Industrial Alliance (CABIA), the state of California has lost just under 10,000 fast food jobs since AB 1228, the new $20 minimum wage for fast food employees was first signed into law late last year.

Following the signing of AB 1228 in October by Governor Gavin Newsom ushering in the new $20 minimum wage, a massive jump from the $16 minimum wage, has had multiple companies take extreme measures. Some, like Chipotle and McDonalds, have announced already raised prices before the wage raise date of April 1st. Others are investing in automated kiosks and other automated devices to help reduce the number of employees. Some stores outright closed.

Most notable, however, has been the massive amount of layoffs. Over 1,200 Pizza Hut drivers have had announced lay-offs, and were replaced by services such as DoorDash and Uber EatsRoundtable Pizza has also done the same with many of their delivery drivers, with many other chains also quietly doing the same for deliveries in the following months, as seen by the jump of fast food businesses on food delivery sites.

As the economic effects took a toll before the law was even in place, lawmakers scrambled to mitigate the damage. AB 1228 bill author, Assemblyman Chris Holden (D-Pasadena), created a new bill to grant numerous exemptions in an attempt to lighten the economic blow of AB 1228, including to fast food restaurants in airports, stadiums, casinos, events and corporate campuses. However, as the Globe noted, AB 610 does anything but cleanup the mess caused by AB 1228. While it was passed, closures still continued. Most were smaller scale layoffs with a handful of employees being let go from certain locations. However, some were larger scale closures, such as the Rubio’s Coastal Grill closures that occurred over the weekend.

During this entire time, from signing in September 2023 to adoption in April to today, the question of how many employees were affected has remained. State figures won’t tell anything until next year, while exact numbers of layoffs per restaurant location has been largely muddled because of some locations normally firing people or hiring employees or new locations opening.

However, CABIA gave the first figures on how many jobs have been lost to AB 1228 so far earlier this week, with the trade group saying that nearly 10,000 jobs have been lost so far. CABIA President and founder Tom Manzo said on Wednesday that, even before AB 1228, California businesses were struggling for years because of state regulations.

10,000 jobs lost due to AB 1228

“California businesses have been under total attack and total assault for years,” said Manzo. “It’s just another law that puts businesses in further jeopardy. Nearly 10,000 jobs have been cut across fast food restaurants since Newsom signed the bill into law last year. Officials are living in a fantasyland by thinking that drastic wage increases will help workers or businesses. You can only raise prices so much. And you’re seeing it. People are not going to pay $20 for a Big Mac. It’s not going to happen.”

Others in the industry told the Globe on Thursday that layoffs would likely continue as automation and new, leaner shifts continue to grow.

“It adds up over time, doesn’t it?,” explained Chris Kelly, a job placement specialist who helps food service workers transition into other careers, to the Globe on Thursday. “Like I said on Tuesday, Rubio’s was an odd case. The reason you haven’t heard of all these firings is because it has been quiet. No on says anything about 4 or 5 people let go in one place. But add that up through a lot of locations, and look at that, 10,000 jobs.”

“And the sad thing is a lot of those people needed these jobs. Some are kids getting their first summer job or paying for college. Others are people in need of a second or third jobs to make ends meet. Others need to supplement retirement, or worse, need to work still because they have no retirement.”

“We’ll look at state figures when they come out, but through CABIO’s findings, it is at 10,000. That’s a lot of jobs people needed. That’s a lot of people facing eviction now or having to decide between food and medicine. That’s a lot of people who lose out on valuable job experience. You’re hurting every generation from Gen Z to the Silent Generation here. This was such a destructive law, and now we are starting to see the first figures from it. And they are not pretty.”

Manzo also said that “It’s a starter industry. You get a job as a kid working in a fast food restaurant and you learn some good work ethic and that takes you into life.”

More figures, such as more job loss numbers and store closure numbers, are expected to come out soon.

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24 thoughts on “Trade Group Finds 10,000 Fast Food Jobs Lost Since New $20 Minimum Wage Law

  1. 10,000 and counting…

    But,but,but, I thought we passed the$20 minimum wage because fast food workers were primarily people of color? Thanks Newsom!

  2. California is being run by a bunch of idiots.
    If you changed the language to “10,000 layoff’s in the fossil fuel industry”, people would be cheering. The fast food industry is fighting for the crumbs. Their market has shrunk and they are competing for what’s left. After the first of the year, when the crystal ball for 2025 comes out, I’ll bet only three or four will be left standing – Mc D’s, In&Out, and the drive through chicken joints. The marginal players will be gone. “Same food, different wrapper.”

  3. “I got good news and bad news :
    Good news, I have to pay you twenty bucks an hour.
    The bad news, starting today, you’ll be working zero hours.

  4. The California government does not understand the dynamics of this legislation worst of all they don’t give a DAMN

    1. I agree, THEY DONT GIVE A DAMM !!! why would they ? They are just a bunch of Fat Cats probably from UpperClass Families that never experienced what us regular level ( lowerclass) beings deal with everyday… It’s IMPOSSIABLE for thoes makeing the rules to ever get anything correct to help the rest of us loseing this battle we call Life.. Noone truely understands what they DONT KNOW !!! That’s the problem with shit today. Our government is TRASH. They don’t give no shits about how us Real People live or struggle… as long as they read thier names in the papers CLAIMING they have finally come up with laws that serve for GOOD and shit like that… WE PAY A HUGE PRICE EVERYTIME ANY OF TJOES IDIOTS CLAIM THEY ARE TRYING TO HELP US COMON FOLK.. Cuz I see they are ONLY helping us to Homelessness, Hunger and HEARTBREAK !!!

  5. Never forget that it was Democrat Assemblyman Chris Holden authored AB 1228, it was passed by the Democrat controlled legislature and that Democrat Gov. Newsom signed into law. Democrats doing what Democrats always do and that is to destroy the state and the state’s economy with every bill they pass into law. They’re demonic?

    1. You perfectly said what so many Ca. democrats are denying and not talking about! Now remember this is the group that identity with their LEADER’S name. The DemoNrat himself! Those “leaders” thought switching the letter C with the letter N would hide their true intent! BTW, those 2 letters spell out ‘Never Christ’ Now you know!

    2. You perfectly said what so many Ca. democrats are denying and not talking about! Now remember this is the group that identity with their LEADER’S name. The DemoNrat himself! Those “leaders” thought switching the letter C with the letter N would hide their true intent! BTW, those 2 letters spell out ‘Never Christ’ Now you know!

  6. This is mostly about the Dem/Marxist a-holes trying to take out the middle class by hurting small business. That’s because small business is too independent of govt and typically not subject to their “help.” They HATE that! They got a good start with the fake Covid hysteria (and its fallout), when people were desperate and needed assistance because everything and everyone was shut down, and now they are continuing the attack. Bonus points for Dem vote-buying, because there will ALWAYS be people who are fooled by the “raise the minimum wage,” “livable wage” scam.

    “They need a livable wage! They need a livable wage!” What phonies these people are. They know exactly what they are doing. They are lying to you and pretending to help you to retain their ill-gotten power.

    Grateful to The Globe and reporter Evan Symon for covering this and for covering ALL of it, from beginning to end, including the inevitable (and predictable) destructive consequences of the politicians’ lying promises. And, at 10K fast food jobs lost, it’s not the end or final number or final damage by any means. Let’s at least hope the people affected, including employees AND customers who have been screwed by this charade, will make the connections and wake up to ALL the ways they are getting screwed and trampled by the fake “generosity” of their Dem/Marxist “leaders.”

    1. yes, you are so exactly right!!
      one party rule in California has destroyed the state as. well as idiots voting for idiots. not a single one understand how a business operates nor do they care about growing an economy. CA is the rust belt now… nothing golden about it. get out while you can. homeless and stupid. people will be all that’s left.

      1. Exactly, Melinda York. Dem/Marxist legislators are brain-dead about how a business works and what it takes to keep one afloat. It’s embarrassing. But they are not embarrassed!

    2. Ha! I think it was a rep from the Marxist SEIU that I heard declare that the minimum wage needs to be increased to $30 per hour! I’d offer a sarcastic “Good luck with that” but with the anti-business tilt of the California Legislature, I suppose it’s actually quite possible. I’m curious as to whether the different unions raised entry fees and monthly dues since their memberships started receiving the $20 per hour wage. We know that “administrative costs” increase when members are paid more. (Sarcasm)

      1. John Higgins — I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the unions have actually done what you described in response to the minimum wage hike.
        Hard-left CA Congresswoman Barbara Lee, whose district includes, as you likely already know, the infamous crime-ridden hellhole City of Oakland and who was running for a CA U.S. Senate seat against that reprobate Adam Schiff and that annoying Katie Porter, actually called for a $50 (!!) minimum wage, if you can believe it. Thank God she didn’t make it out of the primary. Seems to me there have been other Dem politicians who have called for MORE than that, and it wasn’t in sarcasm or to make a point either.

      2. They might as well demand $100 hourly wage or even $1,000 per hour wage. If they are going to raise it arbitrarily, why stop at $20?

    3. They need a livable wage because they are “failed adults” and refuse to accept that teenage jobs pay teenager wages.

  7. >Others are investing in automated kiosks and other automated devices to help reduce the number of employees.

    They have been trying to get automated kiosks in their stores for many years. The minimum wage could have been lowered to $1 an hour and it would still happen.

    1. There may be massive customer blowback to the alienating kiosks and robots in fast food outlets.
      Fast food outlets —– the ones that are still in business, that is — are all but forced to do it NOW but would it have happened without ALL of the govt strong-arming they have had to put up with over the years?

  8. Let’s move election day to the week of April 15 (Tax Day). Sit back and watch those weasels change their tune.

  9. It is a documented fact the minimum wage has its origin in the eugenics movement. Now, especially after ‘covid,’ you see who Gavin Newsom really is: an arrogant elitist eugenicist who uses fauxgressive tropes to push his authoritarian regime. The idea is to cause the ‘unfit’ to become unemployable and thus fall out of society and not reproduce while Gavin laughs it off at the French Laundry.

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