Wendy’s Selling Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger For 1 Cent (today.com)
McDonald's franchise group slams California fast-food law as 'draconian' (msn.com)
Monday is “National Cheeseburger Day”. Per proclamation of Congress. Because cheeseburgers are vital to our national economy, and symbolic of important personal rights guaranteed by the constitution.
Meanwhile, California just passed a bill called “AB 1228”. A seriously named piece of legislation, that probably does something important, right? Governor Newsom, as he signed it yesterday, declared that AB 1228 "ensures that the men and women who have helped build our world-class economy are able to share in the state’s prosperity.” My eyes are misting over already. Do we dare ask how it does this?
AB1228 establishes a new bureaucracy – the California Fast Food Council - to oversee burger joints. Stop laughing, it's completely true. This new bill is mostly concerned with setting a $20 minimum wage for burger flippers and the guy at the register who asks, “Do you want fries with that?” The CFFC is an entire department created to oversee all aspects of fast-food advertising, creation, compensation, and consumption in California. With unique court jurisdictions, procedures and penalties. Depending on who is suing who. It's too complex to describe in a day.
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, today (9/16) is National Chocolate Day. And National Cinnamon Bread Day. And National Play-doh Day. And . . . well, it's actually about a dozen things at once. You could Google it. There's might even be a National Google Day, too . . but I didn't check all of them, so I can't be sure.
I have zero problems with a fully certified McDonalds cash register pilot getting $20 per hour for asking “Do you want fries with that?” And I have zero problems with McDonalds installing self-service kiosks and other automation to reduce the rude and unsanitary aspects of restaurant operations. These kiosks are already popping up here in Tampa. Possibly made in China, it's a screen where you punch in your order, then your loyalty number, then swipe your card, then line to wait for your food, and THEN complain to the shift manager that someone put pickles on your burger anyway and ask for a do-over.
Automation cannot be stopped. At least not by mandating higher wages for jobs which have customarily been held by high school students, high school dropouts, and ex-convicts who can't get better jobs. The fast-food kiosk is going to cost less than $20 an hour to operate. And when the minimum wage goes to $30, kiosks become more inevitable. Except for McDonald's locations operated by franchisees of other nations (for example, the Philippines). These managers will hire newly arrived countrymen (and women) without work permits for around $8 an hour, in order to outflank the competitor two blocks away. Don't roll your eyes – YOU KNOW this is happening. Mangan-Dang-Hurrah! (I think this means “good morning” in Tagalog.) This is not a slam against Filipinos, who helped us defeat Japan in World War 2. Or Japanese people. The fast food kiosks are coming from China, anyway, and will probably transmit my credit card data, login, and password back to a secure location Beijing.
If you're confused about why we need a National Cheeseburger Day, and in an alternative reality we also need a California Fast Food Council to make burgers more expensive and throw people out of work - I don't blame you. Neither of these things is connected in any way with the Bill of Rights, keeping the dollar strong, ensuring that taxes and government spending make sense, or addressing any of the real problems in modern America.
I don't think California's upcoming AB 1229 (the next in line?) is going address Fentanyl overdose deaths, or homelessness due to rising housing costs and addiction. I don't think Congress is about to declare a national “Stop state sponsored hacking/ransomware day”. Geeze Louise . . . politicians can't even get on the same page about how to keep guns out of the hands of children, and paroled felons who were formerly working at McDonalds, until the kiosks invaded.
Anyway, Wendy's 1-cent burger deal isn't just a 1-day deal. It will last 4 days, local regulations permitting. Check with your state legislature to see if it's legal where you happen to live.
I'm just sayin' . . .