After Walmart, will fast-food wages rise also?



After Walmart, will fast-food wages rise also?

With Walmart’s announcement that it will raise the wages of 500,000 employees, the public spotlight is shining on other employers, such as restaurants, that rely on low-wage workers to see if they follow suit.

The pressure is coming at in inopportune moment for the $709 billion restaurant industry, which has resisted efforts to raise the federal minimum wage for years because it says high commodity prices are squeezing profit margins. Fast-food or quick-service eateries, though, may be forced to act since they may compete against Walmart, the largest U.S. private sector employer, to attract the same workers.

“Restaurants will likely feel pressure from current and prospective staff,” wrote Darren Tristano, executive vice president at Technomic, a research firm that focuses on the restaurant industry, in an email to CBS MoneyWatch.

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