Dunkin’ Donuts CEO Says $15 Minimum Wage is ‘Absolutely Outrageous’


Dunkin’ Donuts CEO Nigel Travis is not a fan of increasing the minimum wage to something more livable. He told CNN’s Poppy Harlow yesterday that increasing the minimum wage for workers in New York is “absolutely outrageous.”

On Thursday, New York state’s wage board recommended that fast food workers should earn at least $15 an hour by 2018 (New York’s minimum wage currently falls at $8.75 an hour, according to the NCSL).

Travis said it would negatively affect small businesses and franchises and prevent his multi-billion dollar company from hiring new people. He said:

“We’ve always been a supporter of reasonable increases in the minimum wage. You know? We think the minimum wage actually stimulates the economy, we think it’s good for lower-middle income employees and people in those categories.

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“But this is absolutely outrageous. The increase is 71 percent that’s proposed over three years.”

Travis, who argued that most of his employees are teenagers rather than older adults struggling to find work in a challenging economy, explained that he does support a “living wage,” but considers $12 an hour to be a reasonable amount for a worker with a family at home.

But according to MIT’s Living Wage Calculator, a living wage in New York is $12.75 an hour for a single adult and $18.30 an hour for two working parents with two children.

Rival fast-food chain Starbucks, however, hasn’t experienced any major problems with current wage hikes. While CEO Howard Shultz wasn’t a supporter of Seattle’s wage increase to $15 an hour, where Starbucks is based, his company has clearly weathered it just fine, posting a 2% increase in earnings per share despite store operating costs going up 18% from last year. Shultz told CNN that when you consider all the benefits that Starbucks provides its workers, they are still far above minimum wage.

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