The $20 Minimum Wage Forces A 30-year-old McDonald’s Franchise To Close

( – Washington, DC, is the locale with the highest minimum wage in the country at $17 per hour, but California’s mandate for fast-food worker wage edges it out. Those who work in specific establishments in the Golden State are required to make at least $20 per hour. That has led to one franchise closing.

For more than 30 years, the Stonestown Galleria in San Francisco has been home to one McDonald’s franchise. As of June 23, it had closed its doors permanently. In a statement, its owner, Scott Rodrick, said there were two main reasons for the closure. First, the landlord in the mall was asking too much to lease the space. Then, he blamed the high cost of running a business in San Francisco, also mentioning the elevated wage he had to pay its employees, saying it contributed to the strain.

Rodrick said it was “a gut-wrenching day for [his] family” to close down the location. He posted a note on the doors of the restaurant, saying, “It has been a pleasure” for him and his family to serve the neighborhoods, and they were “thankful to have been a part of [customers’] daily meal routine.” He said the employees working for him were offered jobs at other nearby locations, and most would remain with his company.

Before the $20 minimum wage rate for fast-food workers went into effect, it was $15, more than double what the federal minimum wage sits at, which is $7.25 per hour. But the increase has had a negative impact, not just on Rodrick but on the state. Establishments had to slash jobs—approximately 10,000 positions were eliminated—in order to profit.

When California enacted the highest wage in the country, it also established a Fast Food Council, which could potentially increase the minimum wage for workers in the industry in the state in the future.

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