Skip to main content

Shake Shack double cheeseburger.
Poverty wages aren't necessary for fast food restaurants to succeed, as In-N-Out has long shown on the west coast. Add to that the success of Shake Shack, which is rapidly expanding from its New York City origins:
Shake Shack, a burger chain with locations in Florida, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C. as well as international locations in the Middle East, Russia, Turkey, and the United Kingdom, pays starting workers $9.50 an hour outside of New York City and $10 an hour for New Yorkers, CEO Randy Garutti told ThinkProgress. It also offers full-time employees health, dental, vision, retirement, and disability benefits plus paid time off.

But on average, workers get $10.70 an hour thanks to a program it calls Shack Bucks. Every month, it gives employees a percentage of the company’s top-line sales. “It’s sort of immediate revenue sharing, not a long-term program,” he noted.

The company pays about 70 percent of employees’ health care premiums and also matches contributions to their 401(k)s. He added that he is “more excited” than all of these perks about how many employees move up into manager roles. “There are a lot of people who started making $9 an hour and are now general managers in our restaurants making very good money,” he said.

Active promotion from within is an important policy not often discussed. Even $10.70 an hour, a substantially higher wage than most fast food workers make, works out to just over $22,000 for a year of full-time work, which is not a middle-class wage. Providing a route to better jobs and higher wages makes a real difference.

Shake Shack is part of the Union Square Hospitality Group, which also runs fine-dining restaurants like Union Square Cafe and Gramercy Tavern; its restaurants are cited in the Restaurant Opportunities Centers' Diners' Guide for the practices cited above and for participating in employer efforts to promote high-road practices.

And with lines regularly stretching out the door at many of its restaurants, Shake Shack is clearly not hurting for business—and is benefiting from experienced, committed workers who keep those lines moving.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 09:52 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (163+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, Gooserock, SneakySnu, pamelabrown, Tom Anderson, True North, sowsearsoup, Catte Nappe, ontheleftcoast, Russ Jarmusch, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, Mr Robert, CwV, No Exit, zozie, pittie70, ER Doc, Living in Gin, Mortifyd, showthetaxreturn, Nebraskablue, jan4insight, unfangus, Esjaydee, JayBat, a2nite, paz3, Texknight, Powered Grace, mookins, Gary Norton, ModerateJosh, kjoftherock, myboo, cybersaur, JVolvo, Chaddiwicker, gregsullmich, peregrine kate, middleagedhousewife, wordene, GeorgeXVIII, Byron from Denver, tegrat, opinionated, jnhobbs, No one gets out alive, BobTheHappyDinosaur, TomP, camlbacker, joedemocrat, Aquarius40, Dem Beans, mconvente, TofG, ferg, Tool, Betty Pinson, Norm in Chicago, Lily O Lady, Pam from Calif, mjd in florida, MNGlasnant, Puddytat, Liberal Granny, Grandma Susie, Carol in San Antonio, gmats, Buckeye Nut Schell, Aaa T Tudeattack, slowbutsure, WisVoter, Tonedevil, Sun Tzu, Shockwave, enhydra lutris, yellow cosmic seed, Spirit of Life, Involuntary Exile, jakedog42, Calamity Jean, Thinking Fella, anodnhajo, rapala, Hastur, Radiowalla, FarWestGirl, Homer177, PhilW, Glen The Plumber, flumptytail, cotterperson, ridemybike, LamontCranston, bluezen, miracle11, Wreck Smurfy, thanatokephaloides, oceanview, MRA NY, Josiah Bartlett, rbird, skybluewater, South Park Democrat, Polly Syllabic, ichibon, nicolemm, yoduuuh do or do not, Raggedy Ann, CA Nana, karmsy, wader, reflectionsv37, pixxer, BeninSC, fumie, exNYinTX, chimene, nyhcmaven84, Neon Vincent, meinoregon, renaissance grrrl, Arkenstark, DebFrmHell, jbsoul, Capt Crunch, MBramble, DavidMS, eeff, Diana in NoVa, salliezoo, pat bunny, Ishmaelbychoice, dinotrac, 4Freedom, greengemini, Gardener in PA, hbk, rduran, pdkesq, thomask, ratcityreprobate, Eric Nelson, Gay CA Democrat, JuliathePoet, debris54, Dbug, wilywascal, SME in Seattle, realwischeese, maryabein, Bob Friend, portlandzoo, Odysseus, Librarianmom, J M F, paradise50, Chrislove, Da Rock, GreatLakeSailor, mikejay611, Bartskid1, Oh Mary Oh
  •  That $10.70 Is Essentially Identical to the (35+ / 0-)

    minimum wage all time high during Beatles days. You're right, it can't be a middle class wage, never has, but it's a really nice change to have something of mainstream economics from that time finally equalled for the first time in 45 years, especially in the lower working class end.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 09:57:14 AM PDT

    •  It's nice to see this, (10+ / 0-)

      and I'd certainly give Shake Shack my business if they had one open in the Greater Boston area.  The importance of paying people something they can live on and giving them decent benefits so they can take care of themselves when they're sick (as opposed to being told to "just put a bullet in your head") is simply incalculable.  If somebody's gotta do these jobs, then somebody else needs to make sure those who gotta do them can do them in reasonable safety and security.

    •  No rec to check, but -- yes, and --- (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      This place seems to understand that employees are not staplers.  

      Minimum wage was never meant to make anybody rich, but it's not good for anybody to be stuck there unless they actually want to be, which can happen for a variety of reasons.

      An entry level job is supposed to be just that : your entry into something, not a career aspiration.

      Paying people a decent wage is a good thing, treating them well and giving them the opportunity to increase their value is an even better thing.  Win-win and all that.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 05:50:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  it is not identical to the all time high (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BriarRose, Odysseus

      First of all, I'm glad to hear that Shake Shack is paying more than rock bottom legal minimum.

      Having said that, when you correct for improvements in life due to improved technology, that wage is far worse in terms of access to housing, transportation, and health care, than things would have been for someone with a similar job in 1965, especially in New York City.

      To move to NYC and survive on that, without parental assistance, you'd have to live extremely far from the Shake Shack location in Madison Square Park.  If you accepted a dangerous neighborhood, you might be able to live nearer the one in downtown Brooklyn.  You would have a very hard time getting a lease on an apartment of your own, even a studio in a bad neighborhood.  You'd have to scramble for a share, most likely, relying on the whims of your unofficial landlord.  You would have a hard commute.  For forty hours of work per week, you would probably spend many more hours commuting.  Adding a second full time or part time job would make commuting even more complex.

      We are talking about gross pay of about $1900/month here.  So in addition to a room share or (if lucky) tiny studio in an inconvenient and/or dangerous area, you'd have to beg off any significant student loan payments.  You'd have to manage every dime extremely carefully to have enough for groceries, laundry, and phone bill through the month.

      Even with whatever Shake Shack insurance, you'd have to scramble to find health care facilities that would accept you, or accept extremely long waits.

      What I am describing is, of course, how many poor families do live in NYC.  Add all the complications of school and child care if there is even one child.

      Naturally, the next comment will be from some upper class guy saying that he has a rent controlled loft in Williamsburg and rides his recycled bike to his vegan restaurant job, and therefore anybody can do it and ten bucks an hour is a fortune, while selectively not mentioning all the help from corporate lawyer parents in terms of things like co-signing leases and rushing to the rescue in every crisis, and paying for education.  One issue today is that people who rely on money made during the "liberal" days of the sixties and seventies, by their parents and grandparents, don't even realize that they rely on it (and that in most cases it will be gone some day, and not there for their kids).  But I stand by my comment.

      •  Any business in the North East would have trouble (0+ / 0-)

        finding any employees at the Federal Minimum wage because of the general living expenses in the area.  Just paying the rent is more than in the low wage, Third World states in the South.  

        And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

        by MrJersey on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 09:50:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  What would be more beneficial to workers than (8+ / 0-)

    anything the government does is to have the market reward companies that do things the public likes.  

    If lots of people demonstrate that they would rather go to a fast food outlet that -- even if it charges a bit more -- pays their workers better (perhaps those companies can advertise that they have happier workers so that's better service?), that will do more than anything to lift the pay of those workers.

    The question is whether a chain like Burger King or McD's has customers that would rather pay a little more for the workers to be paid more.  (Shake Shack doesn't necessarily have the same customer base, and doesn't base its business model on things like a "value menu" like McD's, Burger King,   and Wendy's do.)  I suspect that those chains have research telling them that, if they raise prices more than x%, they will lose business. And if their "value" menus are a big part of their draws, they may be right that raising prices will cost them business.  But only they would know that for sure.  

    •  This is the best argument... (12+ / 0-)

      for why capitalism is a crime against humanity. Like feudalism this too shall pass.

      This makes about as much sense as Mike Huckabee on mescaline. - Prodigal 2-6-2008

      by Tonedevil on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 10:37:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No.. it's why capitalism is good. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        coffeetalk, DAISHI, Sparhawk, VClib

        People have the opportunity to make their own choices.

        They can shop at the lowest priced burger joint, or pay a premium at another place that pays their employees more or provides better quality.

        In a non-capitalistic society you would get one burger - and like it!

        Do you think there were a lot of burger joints in the Soviet Union?  

        East Berlin?  McDonald's burgers were the first thing East Berliners ran to when the wall came down.  Some credit western commercials from McD's and other capitalist products in fomenting dissatisfaction in East Germans - they could see the commercials on their TV's but not buy the products.

        •  You can choose to... (8+ / 0-)

          work at Wendy's and collect food stamps or you can choose to work at McDonald's and collect food stamps. Either way society subsidizes the profitability of companies that never have to realize the true cost of doing business. If those companies were to choose to compensate their employees to a level where they didn't' have to get food stamps to survive apparently their stock holders could sue the management or so I've been told here.

          This makes about as much sense as Mike Huckabee on mescaline. - Prodigal 2-6-2008

          by Tonedevil on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 02:09:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  As USUAL, you got it twisted -- (10+ / 0-)

          Seems everyone thinks the ONLY alternative to free-market capitalism is totalitarianism -- which they ALL label "SOCIALISM".  You couldn't be more wrong...or ignorant, for that matter.  Take the HINT: JUST BECAUSE THE SOVIET UNION CALLED THEMSELVES "SOCIALIST" DOESN'T MAKE IT SO -- that government was a pack of pathological liars for 70 years, why do you accept another lie -- because it suits YOUR agenda?

          Unrestrained free-market capitalism IS the bane of America -- because the present-day "haves", the great majority of them, INHERITED their riches from ancestors who used slave labor to BUILD their fortunes.  The doors of opportunity have been chained shut to many people over the last 30 years, while those with the chains make more and more, and WE STARVE.  

          THIS is why we need regulation, and ENFORCEMENT; it doesn't stifle innovation, it DOES in fact ENHANCE IT; what innovations have been made in the last decade or so, other than easier ways for the rich to get richer?  Digital TV was government-mandated, cell phones were made smaller and more efficient, and the internet was streamlined.  NONE of it was NEW TECH.

          People who wanted a regulated market simply want to be able to WORK, feed their families, and not w've eanred and keeprry about being kicked out on the street for a case of the flu.  The damned few who DON'T, who want an unfettered free market, want it so they can SCREW everyone else out of what they can keep it all for themselves.  Simple.

        •  Reminds me of Coors beer (4+ / 0-)

          I grew up in Illinois and I remember when my uncles, their friends, or many other people I know used to make Coors runs to Colorado.  But now that you only have to run to your local grocery to get it, few are interested any more.

          Your comment

          In a non-capitalistic society you would get one burger - and like it!
          reminds me what of the offerings on our very much capitalistic network and basic cable channels are like now in the US.  We don't have to eat the crappy burgers only on the Learning Channel (what a joke that name has become), but try and find something that isn't a crappy burger on basic cable.  It's getting harder to do, especially in the past 2 or 3 years.

          No, capitalism might give us a choice of mega-corporations from which to buy our crappy burger, but nothing on the menu besides crappy burgers once all the small businesses are driven out of business, which unregulated capitalism DOES tend to do.  Or which even regulated capitalism tends to do; see Capture Theory.  Capitalism eats the progressively bigger small fish until the only thing left is something like Comcast, the crappiest of crappy corporations for product quality and customer satisfaction.  Not much of a choice in my opinion.

        •  The Soviet Union was NOT Socialist. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          It was state capitalism.

          In real socialism businesses are run by democratic worker and community co-operatives.

          And since you you don't need to consolidate into chains to concentrate profits, we will have much more choice in hamburgers.

      •  Saying capitalism is a crime (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        coffeetalk, VClib

        Is akin to saying choice is a crime. Capitalism gives us the choice of what to support. If you're against unregulated markets, that's different from being against capitalism.

        by DAISHI on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 01:19:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, it nothing like saying choice is a crime. (7+ / 0-)

          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

          by UntimelyRippd on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 02:00:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Capitalism is a system in which those with (15+ / 0-)

          capital can use it to leverage others to labor for them, and then take the lions share of the fruit of that labor for themselves.

          That's what the word means.  That's what those who coined the term were talking about.  It doesn't mean anything else.

          It doesn't mean choice.

          •  That's not quite what the word means, but your (0+ / 0-)

            comment reminds me of some things my poor dense mind has been pondering of late:

            The Capital/Labor delineation seems to be quaint in a world where people are exhorted to invest in themselves.

            In effect, we upgrade the human machine by, say, learning to write Ruby code or to do precision welding.

            It's not the same thing as capital, but people start to resemble capital when we can be upgraded -- and can become obsolete.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 05:56:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  The problem is not capitalism, it's the unbridled (9+ / 0-)

          greed that it begets.  The worst fallout from the employment crisis of the last several years is that it REMOVES choice from the equation.  There's nowhere to go in the company, and nowhere to go OUTSIDE the company.  The average fast food worker would probably love to do something else... but that would probably involve emigrating to the Third World.

          I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

          by mojo11 on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 11:11:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's a good point (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            salliezoo, wishingwell, greengemini

            It's not making money that's evil, it's what you do with it.

            Folks like Andrew Carnegie, the Rockefellers, the Hewletts and Packards, and the like were all capitalists at heart, because for them making money is good. But the issue is what to do with the money, whether you use it to help other people (Carnegie Libraries, endowments for the arts, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and such), or whether you just sit on the money, buy expensive toys (or expensive politicians), leave it for your kids to fight over, etc.

            There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

            by Cali Scribe on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 04:45:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  2 trillion dollars. (0+ / 0-)

              That's how much American companies have stashed away in reserve today.  It's not being used to create jobs OR for charity.

              Since they are not using that money, we need to tax it away and use it for health, housing, education and sustainable infrastructure, which will all create employment.

        •  Capitalism and Deomcracy are NOT the same thing. (7+ / 0-)

          Americans all too often confuse them. They are not the same thing at all, in fact they are often antithetical, and when they do inevitably come into conflict, capitalism usually wins.

          I am certainly against unregulated markets, though I do appreciate your nuance on that point. Capitalism, in its purest form, would ultimately destroy everything, even itself.

          I think the only ultimate solution will be to hybridize capitalism and socialism, with a mostly capitalist economy kept in check by a ton of (smart) regulation and certain key industries like utilities, education and health care almost entirely state controlled. Privatizing prisons and military logistics for example should be illegal.

          by Edward L Cote on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 02:48:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You almost got it correct. (4+ / 0-)

            When you are talking capitalism vs socialism you are talking economics. Democracy vs Communism has you speaking politics.

            This nation was built by the founding fathers as a compromise of both systems. It is a Democratic Republic which is a political system that is a compromise of both democracy and communism but leaning heavily on democracy. The founding fathers also compromised on the economy by installing regulated capitalism as our system. Check out the writings and debates of the founders especially John Hancock on the evils of unfettered capitalism! Thus we have a treasury department that issues coin and paper money and controls the supply of those in order to regulate the system. We have since then created the FED as an extension of those ideals which some dispute as being a bad thing however there is much to be said on both sides of that issue and we should have a good public debate on that issue instead of a sneak attack by elected officials in Congress.

            You are also very on point about privatizing government functions like prisons and military. They are just a way to transfer trillions of government revenue to the private sectors AND THEY ALWAYS END UP COSTING MORE IN THE END! Private prisons in my view violate the intent of the founding fathers and often constitute CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT.

            My main point is that too often our public education system has failed to teach the voting public the difference between economic and political systems such that too many Americans transpose the words like they are one thing!!! Americans often mix up the ideas of communism and socialism and equate both with evil. The corruption of the USSR gave communism a bad name (with the help of most of our US government) as it was not truly communism AND our current Kleptocracy is giving democracy a bad name just as badly as it is not a true democracy or even the democratic republic envisioned by our founders.

          •  Is China any more a democracy (0+ / 0-)

            now that it is primarily capitalist?

            Nazi Germany and fascist Italy and Spain were capitalist, and killed communists wherever they could.  Did that make them democracies?

            A little knowledge of history makes the equation of capitalism and democracy just ridiculous.

      •  It ain't like feudalism just drifted off into the (3+ / 0-)


        To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

        by UntimelyRippd on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 03:18:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, feudalism is alive and well (3+ / 0-)

          just with better weapons.

          I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

          by mojo11 on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 11:12:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, not quite. (4+ / 0-)

            Feudalism was based on "might makes right"; the ancestors of those who, today, sit in Britain's House of Lords were the toughest warlords in their respective neighborhoods.  See Shakespeare's history plays for more.

            Capitalism arose when the merchants in the cities gained more political clout than the "nobility" i.e. the warlords.  The House of Commons never represented the common man; it always represented the rich, but by that I mean those whose riches were like those of Ebenezer Scrooge.  You may notice he didn't live on a country estate.  He made his money trading, just as the hedge-fund billionaires do today.  They are the ones with "better weapons" than existed in the past.  Computers crunch financial numbers much faster than poor Bob Cratchit.  And market manipulation has always been the name of the capitalist game.

    •  Value menus (21+ / 0-)

      These are loss leaders.  The intent is to get people into the store to buy something at full price.

      McDonalds prospers in other countries with higher wage structures.  McD's in France has to pay French minimum wage (the equivalent of about $12) along with a stack of social contributions and tougher labor rules.  They also have value added tax, and higher real estate costs, and must build on smaller lots.  This doesn't seem to hurt their profitability.

      •  Are you sure that in this particular (0+ / 0-)

        case that it's simply that their food is so much better than any locally-available alternative?

        McDonalds prospers in other countries with higher wage structures.  McD's in France . . . .
        •  You can get far better than McDs in France (7+ / 0-)

          This is a place where cuisine is taken very seriously.  There are big places, little places, cheap places, expensive places, formal, informal, places that have excellent service, and places with stereotypically rude waitstaff (less than you might think.)  And yes, there are plenty of local burger places, as this seems to be a fad there, all of which are far better than McDonalds.

          The point is that they are able to fill these places up and make a profit despite the "more difficult" labor regulations and a frankly more difficult situation in terms of factor costs (real estate).

          •  McDonalds in the EU and elsewhere in the world (6+ / 0-)

            are there because of the ignorant Americans who won't dare to try the local cuisine of the country they are traveling in.

            We have seen this many times while traveling abroad and we always get a kick out of hearing our fellow loud Americans trying to figure out where the nearest one is in major cities while the best restaurant, and not the most expensive ones but very very affordable and excellent, are right in front of them.

            Bon Appétit!

            “My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, and I intend to end up there." - Rumi

            by LamontCranston on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 04:25:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Too many Americans (5+ / 0-)

              think of French cuisine, and the first thing their minds go to is escargot (snails, which as I understand it are an acquired taste - I haven't reached that point yet).  It's much more than that.  Anyone who doesn't understand this needs to visit France and see for themselves - it's a trip I want to make at some point.

              Usually, when most people complain about the locally-available cuisine, it's in the UK.  Even this is disingenuous - I spent three months in London back in 2003, and I can tell you it's NOT all beans on toast.  Indeed, many's the cafe that serves pretty decent food; usually, the coffee sucks, but you'll find the occasional cafe that offers lattes instead of crap instant.  They do, of course, have a number of US chains over there, but even their McD's is better than ours (I also saw Burger King, KFC, Starbucks and a couple other US chains).  And it's no accident that the national dish of the UK these days is chicken tikka masala - Indian takeaway is as big over there as Chinese take-out is here (and you can get Chinese there, along with plenty of other international options - Spanish, Italian, and Turkish kebabs were a few of the places where my wife and I ate; in fact, at a Thai place in Dulwich, SE London, I had a duck salad which was one of the best things I've ever eaten).

              So before you judge, travel.

              •  I'd go for the wine and cheese (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wishingwell, Tonedevil

                in France. I'd also like to see if French food is really as rich as it's portrayed in the US, or if there are simpler dishes that are easier on the palate.

                With the amount of immigration from India to the UK I'm not surprised that Indian take-away is pretty popular; it's been growing in popularity around Silicon Valley as well with the rise in chaat houses and cafes in areas with high concentration of Indian residents. (Mr. Scribe has promised me an Indian dinner at a popular restaurant for over 4 years now -- maybe I need to collect on that promise next week.)

                There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

                by Cali Scribe on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 04:53:08 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Food is a like religion in France (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  They take it very seriously.  Some of it is very rich -- but somehow not "heavy."  Some of it is elaborate.  Some simple.  But it's mostly very good.  

                  The most incredible strawberries I've ever eaten were purchased at a farmer's market in the south of France.  Ditto the best cheese and the best sausage.  It's a fully enviable food culture and not one easily transported because it depends so much on fresh, local ingredients.

                  Indian food is wonderful too.  Big country, that.  Lots of micro-climates and traditions.  We have great Indian where I live.  I'm very grateful for it.

                  They tell me I'm pretty amusing from time to time working with 140 characters or less.

                  by CharlieHipHop on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 06:24:12 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Everyday French food (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  Most peoples' concept of what is "French food" is what's served in restaurants. That makes about as much sense as thinking that Americans dine on prime rib, lobster and creamed spinach every night. Having lived in France for many years, I can assure you that I was never once served rich sauces or escargot in anyone's home. The French are pencil thin and enjoy the earth's bounty in MODERATION. It's real food, not petrified in boxes with ingredients with laboratory names. But portion size is what really separates us from everyone else. No one stacks their plates to the ceiling and pigs out on carbs the way Americans do. (Well, maybe the Germans) I've noticed that the first thing Americans do is wipe out an entire basket of baguette slices before they even get their meal, then ask for more. The French only break off a small piece with cheese, or use it to wipe up any sauce left on the plate. By then the Americans have eaten an entire loaf or two. In short, restaurant food, in any country, is rich. Everyday food is not. People go out to dinner to enjoy food that they don't or can't prepare at home. Of course, now that the fast food industry is feeding much of America, we have created, and are in, a class all by ourselves. NOT good.

                  •  The best French food would seem to be in the (0+ / 0-)

                    little bistros and cafes where they serve the types of French food likely to be served in French homes.  The types of food made and served by French mothers.

                    And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

                    by MrJersey on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 09:55:38 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  I agree... (0+ / 0-)

                I don't know why British food gets such a bad wrap.  Bangers and mash, beans and toast, fish and chips (nowhere in the U.S.  does fish and chips like the Brits and Aussies, even the coastal places in California are crap)... yes please.  On one of our trips to the U.K. we ate at this little Iranian place like three times. It was amazing. And a proper Donner Kebab? Good luck finding a reasonable facsimile here.

              •  I ate escargots (snails) once (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                in a French restaurant in Winnipeg (if I recall correctly it was "La Vieille Gare" -- in English, "The Old Railroad Station").

                I'd eat them again. They were delicious.

                I told a friend that I ate snails served in garlic butter. He pointed out that anything in garlic butter would be tasty -- he said, "boiled cardboard with garlic butter would probably taste pretty good." Yep, I agree.

                But I can tell you snails are better than cardboard. And they're less chewy than squids or oysters.

                "Stupid just can't keep its mouth shut." -- SweetAuntFanny's grandmother.

                by Dbug on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 11:36:29 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Nonsense... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              So all of the McDonald's in Europe and around the world are there "because of ... ignorant Americans."?  That's one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard. Sure plenty of Americans eat at them when they travel abroad, but so do French, British, Australian, New Zealander, and many other people from the countries they are located in.  You'll find plenty of these places outside the main tourist corridors where there are no where near enough Americans to support them. Yet they stay in business how? Because the locals eat there!! My wife is Australian and Aussie's love McDonalds (or "Macas" as they call it). I could go on and on.

              What always galls me is, outside of the U.S. you can get actual real, honest to god food at McDonald's.  On a drive between Brisbane and Sydney in Australia, in several remote areas the only dining option is Micky Ds, and so we stopped at a couple.  They had nice deli sandwiches and real pastries at their McCafe along with the usual processed burger crap.

              Look I'm not saying their aren't plenty of "ignorant Americans" lurching across Europe and other places and eating this crap to avoid the local cuisine, but saying that these folks are the real reason McDonald's can be found abroad is massive hyperbole.  Does it help? Sure. But then how do you explain the presence of these places in nations Americans don't often go (the Middle East, etc)?  

              •  These People Must Be Stopped! (0+ / 0-)

                Gee, I don't know how America has managed to set up its fast food shops all over the world. Just plain pushy capitalists. Probably the same way that the soft drink companies managed to put soda machines in our school cafeterias...they give them some money to put in a new softball field in exchange for the right to sell their poison to our kids. It's as simple as that, and the school districts go for it.  But I do know that American fast food establishments are certainly NOT highly regarded anywhere. And now, in Japan, for the first time in history, their young people are beginning to suffer from obesity and type II diabetes just like American kids! It has been assessed that this is due to their consumption of the fast food poison that America has  marketed, promoted and established in their country. This industry is not satisfied with only killing our kids, they're going after the whole world! For money, of course. Listen, we've already been through this with the cigarette companies. You'd think we would have learned by now.

                •  ...high calorie, low nutrition...welcome... (0+ / 0-)
                  Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

                  Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences. -7.38; -3.44

                  by paradise50 on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 09:45:35 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I dunno... (0+ / 0-)

                  I think, in many cases, these places are pushing for them.  People like this stuff because they like junk food. I think the problem is that people choose these options as a regular meal option instead of a rare treat (if you consider this kind of stuff a treat). Is the food highly regarded? Of course not.  Everyone knows it's crap. That doesn't stop people from wanting it.

                  Check this out - the first McDonald's opened in Vietnam this year. It apparently served 22,500 folks in the first 24 hours and 400,000 people in the first month.

        •  I'm not sure I understand correctly (7+ / 0-)

          Surely you are not saying that Mcd's food is better than the locally available food in France.  That would be crazy.  I've eaten many a glorious low-priced meal in France, including in Paris.  I can't imagine why anyone in France would eat at a Mcdonalds....but I can't imagine why anyone anywhere would eat at one of these places anyhow.

          75534 4-ever or until dk5

          by NearlyNormal on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 01:51:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No (5+ / 0-)

            Far from it.  If Mrs. Liberaldregs had not decided at that moment to have a Big Mac Attack I would never have shared this experience (and, yes, I didn't go all that way to southern France to eat American fast food, it was imposed on me...)  (Most Americans never find those glorious low-priced meals as they do not exist in the places the tour bus routes reach, and God forbid some of them don't speak 'Murikan!)

            The point here is that the regulatory environment there is not an apparent impediment to McD's business model.  Or, for that matter, all the fantastic hole in the wall local places that you allude to: clearly their high minimum wage and welfare state benefits are not running small business into the ground.  

          •  For whatever reason... (0+ / 0-)

            The French love them some Micky D's.  There are a big deal about it in the NY times a few years back.  No idea why really, but to each their own.

        •  You're joking, right? (4+ / 0-)

          I've had the food from many an inexpensive café in France, and even that is heavenly.  I find it hard to believe that someone who would travel to France, at least voluntarily, could possibly prefer cooked pink slime over even the most inexpensive of French cuisine.  

          If McD's can manage to prosper under the conditions liberaldregs cites, in addition to having to compete with French cafés operating nearly at the same price points, then McD's can afford to pay US workers a decent wage also.

      •  How do you know? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sparhawk, VClib

        Do you know their income/expense numbers so as to comment on their profitability?  

        What do their revenues look like compared to a similarly situated franchise in the U.S.?  How are the revenues derived?  What about their overall expenses, not just taxes?  

        You can't possibly make the assertion you did without that information.  

        •  McDonalds... (7+ / 0-)

          ...says European franchises are very profitable.  No, their franchises don't publish their numbers and the aggregate data is rather well guarded.

          The point here is that their business model does not seem to be crimped by what would seem to be a more difficult business model, e.g higher minimum wage, employer health-insurance contributions (think of employers having to pay 95% of the cost of a Medicare system that covered everyone), and everything else the Republicans rant about.

          •  We don't know is the level of franchise fees (0+ / 0-)

            I don't know if McD's adjusts its franchise fee on a per country basis or not. I just don't know. What we should all pressure McD's to do is reduce their US franchise fees so the local franchisee's could afford higher wages.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 04:03:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Here's a thought (8+ / 0-)

      If they didn't pay their CEO's and top management massive salaries and perks, they could pay their employees more.

      It used to be that profitable companies rewarded employees at all levels. Now the executives just keep all of the money for themselves.

      See how easy?  Spread the profits around and their costs don't go up.  People can still afford their nasty, unhealthy 'value' menu.

      If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich." - John F. Kennedy

      by Dem Beans on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 12:44:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  not correct for a couple of reasons. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sparhawk, JoeLibertarian, nextstep, VClib

        First, the CEO of McD's has almost nothing to do with what the employees behind the counter are paid.  Most of those restaurants are franchises, so the profitability  -- or lack thereof -- is at the local restaurant level.  In other words, it's usually a local business that owns that McD's on the corner, not the national Mc'D's.  

        Second, even for companies that have a lot of outlets and employees across the country, if you take a big chunk of the CEO pay and spread it to all employees across the country, it's an almost negligible amount in the pockets of the employees.  For example, let's say you cut the pay of the Wal-Mart CEO in half and spread that $10 million a year among Wal-Mart's 2  million or so employees.  That's an extra $5 a year per employee?  

        •  It is this sort of first-order, blinkered thinking (6+ / 0-)

          that allows plutocratic capitalism to ravage our society.

          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

          by UntimelyRippd on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 03:17:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  McDonald's charges "Rent" in a sense totally (7+ / 0-)

          alien to what the words means to most.

          They decide how much to skim based on what yearly income they know will keep the typical franchisee working hard for them.  "Local Business" is a PR scam.

          Don't forget, either, that almost all new locations these days are started up and run by Corporate for the first couple of years before being sold.  That means it is Corporate, directly, that's setting the hiring wage at those locations.

          Lastly, CEO's are not the entirety of a Corporations Executive level staff.

        •  YOU'RE NOT CORRECT FOR THE REASONS. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:


        •  it is under litigation (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tonedevil, greengemini

          It is necessary for the business that there be an arms length relationship between the brand and the franchise.  The current litigation will determine if such a relationship legally exists or if it is just a fantasy. Most would agree when pitching a franchise the availability of many low wage employees is critical to McDondald's being profitable.

          I also believe many of us would have no problem reducing the CEO pay from 20 million to 1 million and giving all other employees a 10-20 cent a minute raise.

          In any case the whole discussion is bogus.  Talking about average pay is meaningless.  If the average is a median, that means that half the employees make less.  If the average is a mean, a small group of highly paid employees could mean that that most make minimum wage.  If the average is a mode it could mean the vast majority makes between minimum wage and $10, depending on how the data is binned.

        •  The CEO (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          isn't the only over-paid executive at WalMart or any other major corporation. If everyone above Director (or an equilvelent level) took not just a cut in pay, but a HUGE cut in their bonus, it would be much more than $5 a year per employee.

          I've also worked for small private businesses and the owner(s) take a huge portion of the profits. I recently worked at a company where the owner went home to his 6,000 square foot home, and his "cottage" on a barrier island for long weekends and holidays. His employees went home to 1 bedroom apartments and couldn't afford to leave town for vacations. No one had had a pay raise since 1997 and the accounting system would only run on Windows 2000.

          I'm not saying they shouldn't do well, but they must recognize that whatever profits there are are a direct result of the work of everyone in the company and they should make more than a subsistence wage.  

      •  Dem Beans - even at the Fortune 1000 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        companies who pay the largest cash compensation to its senior executives the total of all the cash compensation is less than 1% of the total compensation expense for the entire corporation. The reason is that more than two thirds of senior executive compensation is in the form of stock options which don't cost the company any cash.

        In addition, any of the fast food companies who use a franchise model, like McDonalds, the employees behind the counter don't work for McDs but rather the local franchisee.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 11:47:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But the current lawsuits allege that (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          salliezoo, Tonedevil, greengemini

          mcD's is involved to such an extent in "franchisee's" practices as to make the workers de facto employees of the corporation.  They have a strong argument. The " not corporate employees" argument is convenient for the corp,  but hardly convincing in practice.

          ". . .as singularly embarrassing a public address as any allegedly sentient primate ever has delivered." - Charles P. Pierce

          by Rikon Snow on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 04:43:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This remains to be seen (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nextstep, VClib
            They have a strong argument
            As this MSNBC article indicates, if this lawsuit succeeds in making McD's corporate a sort of "joint employer" with its franchisees, it would be the first one, and break new ground.  Similar claims have routinely be dismissed.  

            I agree that they are making the allegations, but when they are bucking a lot of law against them, you really can't say that they have a "strong argument" legally.  

            McD's likely will file motions to dismiss claims against the corporate entity.  We'll have to see if these claims survive the motions to dismiss.  In light of the fact that others have tried similar arguments and failed, you can't say that the claimants have "a strong argument" unless and until that happens.

          •  RS - they don't have a strong argument at all (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            The franchise model is a well tested, and litigated, business structure in the US. There is no way that courts will find that the employees of my local McD's are corporate employees rather than my local McD's franchisee. I don't know where you are reading this notion that local workers are corporate employees but it is complete nonsense. Now, McD's does have some company owned stores and those employees are clearly corporate employees. The difference is very easy to determine. Those workers who actually work for McD's receive paychecks that say McDonalds Corporation on them. However, most of the local workers, who wear McD uniforms, are paid by Joe Smith, Inc.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 06:00:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Hospitality Group (6+ / 0-)

      is a privately held firm, not publicly listed on a stock exchange.  Most publicly listed firms dance to the stockholder's demands to grow the bottom line no matter what.  Shareholders can sue or launch takeover bids if firms don't maximize profit.  So many tend to lip service corporate social responsibility unless it's something provably beneficial to the company's bottom line.  The Benefit Corp model protects firms from such demands by stipulating other metrics than profit.  As a privately held firm, Hospitality Group responds only to a single or closed group of owners who can run things however they wish.  I think the core problem with capitalism is a 19th century invention, the publicly listed corporation that trades on an open stock market, with the bottom line as its sole focus.  Capitalism, per se, isn't good or evil, it's a tool to get surplus funds to those who can use them best (and to take capital from those who no longer need it to expand their business, such as in the form of dividends).  Various forms of capitalism have existed--Muslim finance is a form of capitalism that forbids interest and stipulates shared risk/shared reward.  Glass-Steagal separated retail banking from investment, and the banking system was the better for it.  When it was abolished, the system imploded, again, and will again and again like banking did repeatedly before proper regulation was imposed.  We can fix this abuse of capital (which is what the current public listing of regular C corps with little regulation is), and fixes exist.  I bet Elizabeth Warren, Robert Reich, Stiglitz, Krugman and others could come up with fixes.  Instead of talking about Simpson-Bowles, Mr. Obama should commission such a group to come up proposals to fix capital abuse and make this economic system work for the people instead of against them.

      These Republicans have filibustered more . . . while accomplishing less . . . (and) while attempting to block more nominees than any other Congress in the history of our republic--Jon Stewart

      by monkeybrainpolitics on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 04:16:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  coffeetalk -- more bullshit propaganda from this (5+ / 0-)

      site's resident expert in pimping corporate pr bs. sounds like you're following the employment policies institute script (which you had input in?):

      There is one pair of researchers, economists David Neumark and William Wascher, whose work shows that raising the minimum wage is harmful. However, their work has serious shortcomings.

      For starters, Neumark and Wascher ignored many studies that came to different conclusions and did not review some of the most thorough studies. They considered 102 studies, of which 52 looked at American workers, and then rejected all but 19 of them as not credible. Five of the studies Neumark and Washer found credible were by … Neumark and Wascher.

      This is known as cherry-picking the data rather than following the evidence wherever it leads. That should be more than enough to discredit their work, yet it gets cited often in news reports and opinion columns because the Employment Policies Institute touts their work.

      That name suggests a research organization. But in fact, the Employment Policies Institute operates out of the same Washington offices as a big public relations firm run by Richard Berman. The institute’s disclosures show Berman is its leader. Berman and his firm are advocates for the restaurant industry, the leading economic force arguing against a higher minimum wage.

      The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. ~ J.K. Galbraith

      by bluezen on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 04:38:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What on earth does that comment mean? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, AlexDrew

        You didn't respond to my comment but posted a criticism of two minimum wage researchers that I didn't even mention.  

        If you've read my past comments on the minimum wage, you'll note that (1) the study I cite most often is this one that says that a "modest" increase in the minimum wage has no negative effect on unemployment; and (2) I've said repeatedly I think we probably need to increase the minimum wage somewhere around the $9 to $10 range

        So I have no earthly idea what your comment was all about.  

        •  you can get off the fainting couch now, scarlett (4+ / 0-)

          -- & put down the smelling salts. you know exactly what my comment means: you're a corporate bullshit artist par excellence.

          by diverting the discussion away from mandating that businesses should pay employees a decent, livable wage, to a strawman argument about (phoney) market forces being the determining factor, not govt, you've once again proved your rw creds.

          The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. ~ J.K. Galbraith

          by bluezen on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:19:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Open one here in NC (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and I'm so there.

      I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

      by mojo11 on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 11:06:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is the con all conservatives spew out (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      If only the "market" would make folks do the right thing.

      It's a bull shit argument.

      We are democracy.
      WE - everybody reading this and everybody buying, or not buying, those burgers, are the government.

      It would be a GOOD THING for us, the government, to make these employers raise the wages. It will be good for the vast majority of people in society.

      It would be a stellar use of government.

      Don't be fooled by the bull shit con run by greedy folks that don't want to be good members of society. They'll spew crap about "market forces".

      When they do you'll know that it's an anti-democratic con job to screw people over.

    •  Got some major errors there, coffeetalk (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greengemini, Tonedevil, Odysseus

      I think I'll start with the smaller ones.


      But only they would know that for sure.
      No, anyone with access to the data for that market - and it's not difficult to get your hands on the actual data or reasonable extrapolations - and who knows how to analyze it would know just as well.  Corporations are not omnipotent and omniscient.  They are not inherently superior, and I'm not interested in worshiping them or bowing to their purportedly superior wisdom.

      2.  You're completely discounting the effect of growing the industry.  The number of dollars spent in any industry is far from fixed.  Increased competition isn't always a win-loss situation.  There are people who don't eat fast food or do so seldom, but would choose to do so if circumstances in the industry changed - such as fast-food outlets operating in a way that respected their employees.

      3.  Oh, the biggest lie of all in capitalism:

      What would be more beneficial to workers than anything the government does is to have the market reward companies that do things the public likes.
      Sez who?  You need to support a statement that sweeping and far from obvious.  It isn't even obvious that this situation is more beneficial to all corporations, much less to their employees.  Rules get made because some idiot did something stupid, and regulatory agencies are the ultimate manifestation of rules.  The unregulated market simply does not solve all of its problems.  To believe that is extremely naïve and ill-informed.
  •  Interesting (13+ / 0-)

    I saw a couple of weeks ago that a Shake Shack had opened in the Paramus, NJ area and that it was absolutely mobbed. If they treat their workers better than, say, Five Guys or Smashburger I wish them success.

    Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað

    by milkbone on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 10:22:15 AM PDT

  •  and now my turkey sandwich lunch... (9+ / 0-)

    ...doesn't look nearly as tasty as that burger in the photo...

  •  Not only do they have the happiest employees (10+ / 0-)

    of any big burger chain, but they have by far the freshest and best food. Just had a double double burger, "animal style", yesterday.

  •  I really like In-N-Out Burger a lot (5+ / 0-)

    The nearest store is an hour from where I live and I don't eat out often but it's a great place. As a matter of fact I ate there yesterday.

    If you go be sure to check out their Secret Menu.

    My invisible imaginary friend is the "true" creator

    by Mr Robert on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 10:50:23 AM PDT

    •  I'm Lucky... (5+ / 0-)

      We have one less than 5 miles from here. Ironically, it's located in the parking lot of the Walmart built just outside of the Oakland city limits, which makes traversing the parking lot to get to the usually long, but astonishingly fast moving line (I've waited maybe 10 minutes with 10+ cars ahead of me) a bit of a "Walmart Shopper Slalom", but well worth it.

      I've always known that they paid their people decent wages, and it shows in the professionalism and attitudes from the nice person who goes from car-to-car when the line is longer than three cars to take our order, to the person who hand us our food.

      Somehow, the christian biblical quotes on their packaging doesn't irk me the way it does elsewhere... walking the walk makes a difference, I guess. :D

  •  St. Louis Next Please? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yg17, TofG, thanatokephaloides

    Looks like a mighty tasty burger there!

  •  These fast food franchises (11+ / 0-)

    and big box store Costco show how it should be done, that it actually is good for the customers, the employees and the owners. It's also good for America, but I don't think that McDonalds and WalMart and their ilk give a rat's ass about that.

    "You have no respect for excessive authority or obsolete traditions. You're dangerous and depraved, and you ought to be taken outside and shot!" - Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

    by rambler american on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 11:34:16 AM PDT

  •  They're nice; the food is good & want it to come (4+ / 0-)

    To NEOhio.

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 11:46:08 AM PDT

  •  Damn You Laura (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dem Beans, thanatokephaloides

    I'm stuck in Portland needin' a Double-Double baaaaad!

  •  I see there are Shake Shacks in Philadelphia (near (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Rittenhouse Square) and in the King of Prussia Mall. They should be given a try, since they give not as bad wages and benefits as the giant fast food chains.

  •  Shake Shack in Philly is always mobbed (3+ / 0-)

    And for good reason.  It's awesome food.  I'm delighted to hear that they are paying their workers higher than minimum wage.  We need to keep the pressure up to get the federal minimum wage higher, but in the mean time I'll celebrate any instance where companies are already doing it on their own.

    "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world." - Archimedes

    by mconvente on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 12:45:35 PM PDT

  •  Kind of gives the lie... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thanatokephaloides the GOP mindset that states that higher wages for this sort of business will kill the business.  Doesn't it?

  •  We made a Point of trying an In-n-Out Burger (5+ / 0-)

    "Mighty Good" Burger - from a Hamburger Gourmet, I must say.

    My wife and I were on a trip to California a couple of weeks ago, and my son insisted that we should try an In-n-Out Burger.  We were somewhat amazed at the line, and the parking lot was difficult to maneuver, but the service was quick and the burger was great!

    The local police were standing in line to place their orders, so you know that the food is good.  We didn't wait long, and we went back a couple of times to try their "Animal Style" and a chocolate shake.

    Good food, good service, and its great to know that a business can still succeed while paying the employees a livable wage.  The customers were polite and appreciative, too.

    Wish we had a few In-n-Out places in New Mexico!

    Voters should select people to represent them in their government. People in government should not select people who may vote!

    by NM Ray on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 01:12:09 PM PDT

    •  They're coming. In-N-Out has now expanded with (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr Robert, wishingwell, greengemini

      distribution hubs in Texas, Arizona, and Utah.

      They control their meat from the slaughterhouse to the grill, so they don't just toss up a new store here or there.  They re-established most of their supply line in, from dairy to veggies to beef, in each of those locations.

      You're surrounded;)  They're coming.  And, crap, you have so many retirees from CA living there now In-N-Out knows it has an instant customer base.

  •  McD will never voluntarily raise wages. (4+ / 0-)

    Their franchisees and stockholders only care about the money.  They are not about good food.  This model is making money, therefore it's meeting their needs.

    " Armageddon could be knocking at my door. But I ain't gonna answer that's for sure." - Kristian Bush, Jennifer Nettles, Kristen Hall

    by rustypatina on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 01:28:21 PM PDT

    •  You are absolutely correct. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greengemini, sukeyna, Odysseus

      That is why we need to have a FEDERAL minimum wage that is equal to the 1960s federal minimum wage! Corporations as a whole will always look to the bottom line and increase it by cutting worker's pay/benefits unless either a union or the government force them to be moral. The federal minimum wage SHOULD ALWAYS INCREASE such that a typical worker does not qualify for "poverty" programs like food stamps or rent subsidies. Those programs have a very important place in a civilized society BUT SHOULD NEVER BE CORPORATE WELFARE by subsidizing worker pay. We have allowed this situation to go on for FAR TOO LONG and need to put the purchasing power back into the minimum wage. I remember when the minimum wage was $1.10/hr and to equal that now it would need to be about $17.00/hr. Shocking, I know!!! That means that I was making more as a part time dishwasher in a restaurant in 1969 than many full time workers today that are often in risky or dangerous work like non-union construction or tow truck drivers on our interstate highways!!!  

  •  I want people that handle my food... (5+ / 0-) not live in poverty and without healthcare.

    $10 is not enough IMO.  In Los Angeles it should be at least $15.  Certainly In-n-Out is better than freaking McDonald's or Burger King and I applaud them.  But we need a union of food workers.  Perhaps the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF).

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 02:18:21 PM PDT

  •  In-n-Out vs. 5 Guys (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I live in Huntington Beach, Ca. There is a In-n-Out and a 5 Guys within sight of each other. The In-n-Out always has long lines both inside and at the drive thru. The 5 Guys is always half empty. I'll take In-n-Out any day. I don't even mind their bible numbers on cups and wrappers because they put them in out of the way places. I never even noticed them until someone pointed them out to me.

    •  We have at least two Five Guys (0+ / 0-)

      that I'm aware of close by.  They don't have lines out the door, but they do fairly steady business.  I live on the North Shore of the Greater Boston area; across from the location in Swampscott, just south of my former home town of Salem, they're putting in a Cheeburger Cheeburger where the City Grill used to be.  I have no idea how they'll fare against Five Guys, though.

      •  Lots of Five Guys (0+ / 0-)

        I've seen them in Dedham, Braintree, Canton, Natick, Framingham, Burlington, Medford, Saugus, Stoneham, Peabody, Downtown Crossing. I'm sure there are others.

        “Republicans...think American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people... And they admire of Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it.” Harry S. Truman

        by fenway49 on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 04:19:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I just had 5 guys at (0+ / 0-)

        that Swampscott location tonight, then here I go and read this. Small world!

        Hey neighbor :)

    •  A lot of people still don't know (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      about 5 Guys -- they've been making inroads in the Bay Area (we've got one in Sunnyvale and they just opened a store in Mountain View). Depending on time of day, they do steady business; the one in Sunnyvale is right near a Panera Bread which we frequent (I love their chicken noodle soup, and in the summer they have a Poppyseed Chicken Salad that's to die for) and always seems quite busy. They're not bad -- one problem is no drive through so they're not quite as convenient as In-N-Out. They need to do some advertising and promotions to get Californians to notice them.

      There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

      by Cali Scribe on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 05:08:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  In a perfect world (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I'd get a burger from In-N-Out with fries from 5 Guys.

      In-N-Out definitely makes a better burger IMHO.

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 05:13:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dick's Drive-In (3+ / 0-)

    in the Seattle area starts employees at $10.25 plus real benefits:
    100% health and dental for those working at least 24 hrs/week (currently 75% of employees);
    Educational Scholarships;
    Childcare Assistance;
    Paid community volunteering (4 hrs/month);
    Merit wage increase.

  •  though they don't have many vegetarian (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    options on the menu.... I do occasionally stop in for a pbr

    and now I'm glad I do!

    show 'em how it's done, Shake Shake!


    every adult is responsible for every child

    by ridemybike on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 04:20:15 PM PDT

  •  Article (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And just to add; their burgers are FABULOUS! Great job Shake Shack! Keep up the good work!

  •  See McD? It's not that hard. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, Odysseus

    I have to wonder if the rest of the fast food world will ever get the message that being profitable doesn't mean treating your employees like shit.

    I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

    by mojo11 on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 11:05:56 AM PDT

  •  Loved What a Burger in TX (0+ / 0-)

    Hope these two chains open a branch in SW OH!

  •  Shake Shack (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is the type of corporation Americans desperately need if the poor and the middle class are going to escape from the shackles known as part-time jobs and minimum wage. Pay these hourly workers what they are worth and the spendable income generated will snatch our economy from the sewer in which it has resided for the past several years.

    The big conservative lie known as "businesses create jobs" is a myth. Tax reductions and exemptions given to Corporate America and the wealthy for the purpose of "creating jobs" is a redistribution of wealth from the poor and the middle class to the corporate world and the wealthy. Consumers with spendable income are the job creators. Consumer demand for products and services is the cause of job creation and business expansion. All the tax cuts the conservatives can imagine will do absolutely nothing to improve the economy if we don't have money to spend. It will simply fatten the wallets of those who are the only survivors and recipients of the benefits our economy is now providing. The sooner we acknowledge those facts the sooner our economy will improve and the sooner everyone will benefit. I'll be dead and gone before it happens but it can happen if enough people care and are willing to aggressively fight for it in a peaceful manner.

  •  Closest thing we have out West here is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert, greengemini

    In-N-Out Burger.  Since I'm not a connoisseur of fast food (subsisting mainly on hummus, pita bread and Jamba Juice), I have no idea whether In-N-Out has any outlets east of the Mississippi.  But that burger depicted sure looks a lot like an In-N-Out cheeseburger.

    In-N-Out competes on quality, but isn't too pricey.  It has a stripped-down menu:  no chicken, no tacos, no fish, just burgers, fries, shakes and soft drinks.  I'm sure that keeps their costs down even though it limits their market. That allows them to pay better than McDonald's while selling a burger that tastes like beef, not cardboard.

    •  They make their fries fresh as ordered (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, greengemini

      using real potatoes, not frozen stuff -- I've watched as they put the potato in the slicer and whoomp! cuts it into strips in nothing flat. I wish I could get one of those for making homemade "fries" in the oven.

      There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

      by Cali Scribe on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 05:10:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They don't go east of Texas (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, greengemini

      It's too bad. I love In-N-Out but you can't get them in this part of the country.

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 05:12:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Right here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in Lawrence, KS would be a great market for either, as would many college towns. We need good jobs (and better burgers) but also we have a culture that is more friendly to worker-friendly business.

    So they keep an eye on the supply chain? I know a guy who is buying into the grass-fed organic beef business.

    For that matter, they should look at Chicago, where people also care about worker's rights.

    Regardless, I really hope the whole worker-friendly business model catches on like Chipotle's "fast-casual" and sustainable models did. I love Chipotle to death, but worker-friendly they are not.

    I am studying marketing and I hope to get a job in the field when I graduate. Maybe I can help these companies use the power of marketing for good.

    We could start by getting the CEO of In-and-Out on the Colbert Report. He and Steven could debate on the "Christian" way to run a business.

    by Edward L Cote on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 03:12:50 PM PDT

  •  No fast food in my area pays $10 an hour (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, Odysseus

    I quit eating out anywhere. I do most of my grocery shopping at Aldi's where I know they pay better than the rest. I have essentially quit buying anything I can live without until the minimum wage increases. I would shop at Costco but there is not one near me.

    •  Costco rocks (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BeninSC, greengemini, PhilW

      They just built a new one in my hometown and the people who work there seem to be very happy. The guy who doing cart sweep was whistling and dancing and telling jokes, he even stole one little kid's nose and let the kid chase him down to get it back. Funniest thing I ever saw.

      •  With just the two of us (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wishingwell, greengemini

        I can't really justify a Costco membership unless we got a lot bigger place with some storage space. Not sure we'd shop there enough to make it worth the investment. But maybe I should reconsider if only to show them some support. We've got two within short driving distance; one just about 5-10 minutes next to the Sweet Tomatoes we frequently eat at and the other a little farther but right on the way to Mr. Scribe's brothers when he takes him grocery shopping.

        There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

        by Cali Scribe on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 05:13:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Happy people make happy food (4+ / 0-)

    I would rather buy a burger made by somebody who isn't starving and I'm sure I'm not alone. Why is it that people always discount those who bring them food. There isn't anything more directly connected to your health and well-being yet those who deliver our food are always looked down upon. Maybe it's time to set wages according to how valuable a worker is to your continued existence. That would put food handlers and Teachers right up near the top of the food chain and the investment bankers selling pencils from a cup

  •  Burger Joint pays good wages (0+ / 0-)

    When are they coming to Chicago?

  •  The In-N-Out Story (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    as told by Huel Howser.

    My invisible imaginary friend is the "true" creator

    by Mr Robert on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 04:16:41 PM PDT

  •  $10 per hour doesn't go far in NYC (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, greengemini

    I know that there's at least one Shake Shack in Manhattan---in the Upper West, where I used to live. $10 per hour is better than minimum wage. But it's certainly not a living wage in Manhattan.

    For a single adult in New York County (Manhattan), $12.75 is a living wage. That number goes up with children.

  •  Will patronize ASAP (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, greengemini

    When I go into DC I often go to Good Stuff Eatery (I have no idea how much they pay but they have burgers named after both Barack and Michelle and I know Pres. Obama has stopped off to eat there).  But I will be sure to try this place and spread the word.  

  •  This is awesome. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, Tonedevil

    However I have a question. When does $1.10 = $17.00?

    Answer: when you are comparing the federal minimum wage from 1969 to the current dollar value of that minimum wage!

    We need to get very serious about this. Federal poverty programs were never intended to be as large as they are, but since we have basically frozen the minimum wage for most of the last four decades, the typical minimum wage worker has worked his tail off to be so poor that he/she qualifies for these poverty programs. In other words the poverty programs HAVE SUBSIDIZED CORPORATE AMERICA!

    Raising the minimum wage to a level equal to 1969 would cut the poverty programs more than in half!!!

    Brain Exercise: Remember when a McDs hamburger was 19 cents? THOSE WORKERS WERE GETTING $1.10/HR.

  •  In N Out (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, Tonedevil

    The employees at this chain actually act like they want to work there.  What a concept!!!

    "The more firearms a man owns, the smaller his member"-- Abraham Lincoln

    by truthronin on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 05:11:55 PM PDT

  •  It's the reason why I shop at Costco and not (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, PhilW

    at Walmart or Sam's Club....I want to support those businesses that reward those that deserve it the most....the hourly workers.

  •  Do I have to be that excited about this? (0+ / 0-)

    $10 still isn't a liveable wage, especially in NYC. It's nice that they offer benefits, but probably only can be enjoyed by workers who have second or third jobs or who have spouses who earn more but don't have benefits (maybe self-employed?), or have second or third jobs themselves.

    So it's certainly better than McDonald's, but I see no reason why these companies can't afford $15 an hour. It would make little difference to the cost of the burgers, and whatever difference it would cost, I'm sure people would be willing to pay the difference because of the better service they'll get from happier employees.

  •  So these cheapskates should be paying (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    $15 at least, $20 in NYC.

  •  $10 an hour is still too low. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Should be $15.

  •  Here in Seattle (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    realwischeese, ozoozol

    Dicks Drive In (I guess there are about 10 of them in the area) has been way ahead of the fast-food pack for many years. I had a burger there this afternoon.

  •  This is what I call a sustainable business model (0+ / 0-)
  •  10/hour means that 2 can make it work (0+ / 0-)

    With 2 people working fulltime, 7.25/hr only combined for 15/hour. That is a measly 30K a year, and cannot put food, rent and utilities for a family of 4. 40K a year with 2 working at 10/hr barely makes it, but that extra 10K makes a world of difference. So I strongly support the 10/hr campaign. I've been there.

    Sadly, the min wage is only the tip of the iceberg. Labor laws have been gutted under Republican control across the country. Workers have literally no rights and companies hold all the cards with reference to temp work, part time, and fire at will laws. But lets start with the min wage. Let's fucking do it.

    ps. I love Laura Clawsen's articles. I have not read one that doesn't inspire me yet. Thanks.

    "Too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of others" Robert F. Kennedy

    by realwischeese on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 05:04:25 AM PDT

  •  Let's see; 2+2=7 --- right? (0+ / 0-)

    Fact is ... the costs associated with just about all businesses, large and small, have risen not only to meet inflation, but to cause it.  The owner's, all-in-all, are making more too. The only thing that hasn't kept pace with inflation is ... THE MINIMUM WAGE. If it had, it would be more like $20 an hour.

    Also - when you hear about profits, remember that today's business world is set in corporate chains, where investors look for large returns (ROI). If you pay out all of your profits to those (like Romney) who put in a few bucks ... well, you get to gripe about how you're not making much in the way of profit.

    C o n s I d e r - M I l k ... prices have risen steadily for several years, but dairy farmers are not the beneficiaries. In fact, if you research it, dairy farmers are being squeezed out.  W H Y ? ? ? If you think it's because big corporate interests are taking over = = = well, you're right.

    C o n c l u s I o n ... America. The land of opportunity, or of opportunists?

    We have to demand an end to Corporate Personhood.

  •  I hope the Shake Shack sweeps the nation and (0+ / 0-)

    spreads everywhere!!What a great role model for all those who refuse to pay decent wages or who will not offer any kind of benefits. It would be ideal if one day this smaller chain were to outdo the likes of McDonalds, BK, Taco Hell, et al. We are all waiting for the Repubs/(Dirt)Baggers to start hating on them. Perhaps when they get home from church?

  •  How many are full time? (0+ / 0-)

    How many of its workers are full time?  BTW there is at least one in Connecticut too, in New Haven.

  •  Shake Shack's burgers are GOOD!!! (0+ / 0-)

    Their company is a good one, run by human beings, and they are making lots of money!

    BK, McD's, and all the rest of you....GET A CLUE!

Meteor Blades, skybluewater, Radiowalla, Odysseus, Gooserock, Powered Grace, nicolemm, Shockwave, eeff, Matilda, Creosote, opinionated, whenwego, Aquarius40, oceanview, fumie, Texknight, SneakySnu, wordene, Catte Nappe, Diana in NoVa, Major Kong, ybruti, Curt Matlock, Josiah Bartlett, ichibon, CTPatriot, Tonedevil, mjd in florida, chimene, irate, Bad Cog, stagemom, Gary Norton, reflectionsv37, Pam from Calif, Sun Tzu, Dem Beans, markdd, jane123, zozie, xaxnar, myboo, cybersaur, rl en france, 4Freedom, JVolvo, NearlyNormal, ER Doc, middleagedhousewife, SingerInTheChoir, ilyana, CA Nana, kurt, PhilW, Tom Anderson, Aaa T Tudeattack, Thinking Fella, tegrat, BeninSC, camlbacker, paz3, yoduuuh do or do not, karmsy, joedemocrat, jnhobbs, Librarianmom, Wreck Smurfy, Timmethy, JML9999, Da Rock, TomP, bkamr, mconvente, pdkesq, Involuntary Exile, Buckeye Nut Schell, Calamity Jean, pamelabrown, wyldraven, J M F, Neon Vincent, greengemini, socalmonk, Nebraskablue, maryabein, JesseCW, realwischeese, Living in Gin, rebel ga, Railfan, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, mamamorgaine, jakedog42, mookins, Polly Syllabic, renzo capetti, pixxer, paradise50, Puddytat, Betty Pinson, Oh Mary Oh, Onomastic, yellow cosmic seed, slowbutsure, sowsearsoup, FarWestGirl, mikejay611, thomask, BarackStarObama, Grandma Susie, MRA NY, Reinvented Daddy, enhydra lutris, peregrine kate, sound of progress, Joe Jackson, ratcityreprobate, Abbeykira, Mortifyd, No one gets out alive, Mathazar, ridemybike, Liberal Granny, bluezen, anodnhajo, Gay CA Democrat, Chrislove, IndieGuy, ahumbleopinion, Trevin, Eric Nelson, rustypatina, barkingcat, a2nite, This old man, Mr Robert, jan4insight, pittie70, Glen The Plumber, George3, ShoshannaD, BobTheHappyDinosaur, Lily O Lady, jusjtim35, jeana brown, Homer177, randalcoon, ModerateJosh, Ishmaelbychoice, Gardener in PA, Rich Lyles, nancyjones, Capt Crunch, jbsoul, Virally Suppressed, thanatokephaloides, wilywascal, Edward L Cote, hbk, Arkenstark, Cynthia Hobgood Strauss, kfunk937, NewRomeIsBurning, mikeygornza

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site