McDonald’s Mondays: When they pay more, YOU pay more

Community Features


On March 31st, Ontario raised their minimum wage from $8.75 to $9.50. On April 1st, Ontario McDonald’s raised the price on all of their sandwiches by 20 cents. Other menu items increased in price as well.

Is this indicative of a larger problem in our economy? We raise the minimum wage so that those earning it can make ends meet with the current cost of living, but to make up the difference businesses raise their prices thereby raising the cost of living? It sounds insane. Maybe it is.

Then again, maybe this is an isolated incident. Maybe it’s just McDonald’s. Have any of you encountered an increase in the cost of goods or services over the past few weeks?

43 responses to “McDonald’s Mondays: When they pay more, YOU pay more”

  1. Sro Ragu says:

    Except for the service industry which relies heavily on minimum wage workers we should not be seeing cost increases elsewhere. Reason being that other costs have come down over the last year: Interest rates , fuel including natural gas , commodities.

    I know that smartcanucks is about saving money but I think we should not be complaining about minimum wage.

  2. madryn_m says:

    I work in one of those minimum wage jobs like McDonald’s, and I know that every time the minimum wage for the province has gone up, so have the prices of our items. Some people are upset about it, but mostly we hear from our customers that they are glad we’re making more money for the sometimes crappy jobs we work and will gladly pay the extra .20 for their item.

  3. Sara says:

    I think the minimum wage going up is a horrible thing and I am a minimum wage earner!
    The businesses increase their prices to pay for the wage increase. And earning more money an hr just means that we have to pay more taxes on our income!
    I know of many restaurants that have raised their liquor prices since that doesn’t require them to print off new menus.

    So whats the point of me making more money? So I can pay more taxes on it and higher prices at other stores?

  4. t says:

    I think raising the price of the food is BS, HAve you ever worked for Mcdonalds? they deserve higher pay ofcourse, But, The company should not turn that onto the customers, what about the times the prices have gone up and there was no pay increase? Should the workers demand a 20 cent raise at that time? McDonalds is just another BIG FAT PIG of a company and has a greddy piggy of a CEO putting there cost on us.

  5. Dave says:

    The minimum wage increasing is going to hurt alot of people, increasing it is really nothing more thne a lousy PR stunt because most people only see it at face value.

    What you raise minimum wage it puts everyone earning more then minimum wage that much closer to being at minimum wage, when the wage goes up so do the prices of everything, so really the people earning minimum wage arent making any more money ecause you will be spending more money, but the people that were above minimum wage are now making less money because they have to spend more.

    This government seems to be determined at putting our economy further in the hole, the HST stunt is going to hurt alot of people everything is going to go up by 8%, they think companies are going to lower their prices? are they kidding? no company will lower their prices by even a penny. If they want to make it easier for the businesses by saving them the PST, then DONT CHARGE THEM THE PST and leave the consumer taxes as they are instead of making everything more expensive for the consumer who is already broke.

    Its funny that they say they want to get us out of recession but yet their every action serves to put us further in, their solution to people not having money is to take more money from them, am I the only one that see’s something wrong wit that?

  6. Phil says:

    Re: Sara

    I don’t think it’s fair to say you’re paying more taxes. Your tax will increase percentage wise with your pay increase, so unless you’re stepping into another tax bracket (at which point you’re making more than minimum wage) then your tax should remain the same as a whole.

    I know not everybody feels this way but if it means that all the minimum wage earners will earn an extra 8.5%, then I don’t mind paying an extra 4% per meal.

  7. freestuffforme says:

    I noticed recently that the cost of 7kg jugs of no name cat litter at Real Canadian Superstore has gone up to $4.97, while the cost of 18kg boxes is $7.99 (I think those were the regular prices…?). I doubt this is related, but I think it’s strange… I actually bought one of the boxes, even though they’re far too heavy for me to lug around, because I really can’t justify paying such a higher unit cost for the jugs.

  8. cheapskate101 says:

    at our local ginos the cost of a mediam pepperoni pizza was 4.99. it went up to 5.55 so that sucks.:(

  9. adora says:

    I don’t mind paying a bit more, but I feel that minimum wage law is evil of good intention.

    Critics of the minimum wage law had been saying this for years. The very people who use more of these services are low income people themselves. Most of the minimum wage are in food preparation sector. And when you are poor, most of your money goes into food. Raising minimum wage doesn’t solve any problem.

    The law backfire by making Canada less competitive. Local businesses end up buying more imports, less local production, which increase unemployment!

  10. Kipper says:

    Harvey’s has also increased the prices on their menu.

    I noticed this since January and emailed them asking why the increases.

    I had to email them three times, the last time pretending I was interested in a franchise, before they replied.

    Their answer to the price increase was a form response that must’ve been written years ago.

    The excuse they gave was rising fuel, transportation, and ingredient costs. We all know gas prices have plummeted and so has basic food ingredients, since demand has dropped.

    Their price increases also made no sense; combos increased by 50 cents but so did the burger on it’s own. That meant the item I usually bought had a 30% price increase!!

  11. Mi says:

    I am an employee of McDonald’s and I have to say you are actually paying more than 20 cents for the breakfast meals that used to be $3.99 because being under $4 you only had to pay for 1 tax. But now that it’s over $4, you are actually paying about 50 cents more.

  12. Joel says:

    To freestuffforme: It’s that freakin’ cat litter that is skrewing up our economy. If only they would have kept it at the old price then we wouldnt have needeed the bailout plan.

  13. Al says:

    If you all want to read more “negatives” of minimum wage:

    I agree, when government does this, it is really for PR and does not do anything really to address poverty or improve conditions for those who are affected. In reality, it costs them nothing but they reap the benefits of additional money in tax collection and they can bask in the glory of being perceived at “doing something” to help those in need. When in fact, they should be addressing the real problem of creating and ensuring good quality jobs remain in the province.

    Don’t be fooled, if the government was trying to “help” they’d spend more money on quality assisted housing, reducing the tax burden on the poor, and pumping money into infrastructure projects that have lasting ongoing benefits and not just “make work” projects. Health care and education can be considered “infrastructure” and can benefit us all with employment and services on a continuing basis.

    Businesses are there to make money. If you don’t like it, don’t buy from them.

  14. Curt says:

    Where i’m at, big mac combo at mcdonalds is 23 cents more (now it’s exactly $7.00) and this was changed like a month before the min. wage came into effect. Burger King’s value deals are about 20 cents more. With min. wage going up to $10.25 next year, prices will likely go up once again.

  15. Dave says:


    They may be earning an extra couple bucks but they will also be spending more money, so in the end your just paying more for nothing and 8.5% closer to being at minimum wage yourself.

    Minimum wage should be frozen, you know what we rally need? a Maximum wage, put in a wage limit at like 30$ an hour, get rid of the tax brackets, and save companies tons of money then prices will drop and even minimum wagers will be comfortable, its not the minimum wage thats the problem its the people earning ridiculous amounts of money for doing next to nothing.

  16. Glen says:

    Dave that idea sounds familiar…

  17. So, by corollary, the minimum wage should be lowered to $3.00, then everyone’s stuff will get cheaper! Or maybe we should indenture people as unpaid servants (i.e. slaves), and the costs of fast food will drop to unheard-of lows for the rest of us!

    Right? Right?


  18. Nick says:

    Cpmpanies often just use this as an excuse to raise prices, eg Pizza Delight has raised the price of most item about 20% which is far more than the extra cost of the minimum wage increase.

  19. Alex says:

    See who really benefits from low low wages:

    The Waltons: Inside America’s Richest Family

  20. Catherine says:

    One of my roommates works at Taco Bell, and he told me that they recently made all of the fry and drink containers noticeably smaller so that they could save money without having to raise prices. He said that this is a pretty common occurrence… and I know Tim Horton’s was features last year or so for something similar (making cups smaller while raising prices). From a business point of view I get it, but it just seems so underhanded to try to slip it under the radar…

  21. budge says:

    tim horton’s has not raised coffee prices over the lst year. also they have NEVER made the size of the cup smaller. changed the design on the outside but that’s as far as it goes. fyi 10 yeas ago the cost of a large cup of coffee was 1.25 and now it is 1.45. an increase of 20 cents. 10 years ago minimum wage was 6.85 or 7.00 and now is 9.50. a little more than a 20 cent difference there

  22. lbal says:

    It is true the cost of living increased especially with food prices. The Kaiser bun at Price Chopper near my place used to cost $.35cents each, now it cost .45cents – 10cents increased each bun. Maybe we can start baking bread at home now?

  23. jaybank says:

    The Goodwill also raised their prices and I mentioned this while checking out and the lady told me it was because of the minimum wage increase. OMG..the stuff is donated.

  24. Roxy says:

    While I agree that enforcing and increasing the minimum wage can cause problems, it is also the great equalizer. It ensures pay equity for women, teenagers, students, (single) parents, visible minorities and recent immigrants.

    With the minimum wage in place, no employer can employ women for less than men, or black people for less than whites, etc. Everybody works for the same miserable wage.

    I am going to play devil’s advocate now. Even with the gas prices down, there is always something else as the price of living still goes up every year. And there are other possible reasons for the price hike. Are wheat prices still high (that will affect bread products and breading for nuggets)? Have insurance rates gone up (my car sure did, by a lot and I had no claims; my house did too and again, no claims)? High turnover of staff (it costs time and money to train staff)? Have possibly the prices of uniforms for staff gone up (for reasons unknown)? Have property taxes gone up?

    As for Goodwill, we too have noticed a spike in prices, coupled with an increase of their 50% off days. We just buy less. Their loss.

  25. Jai says:

    I’m not at working for minimum wage, but I’m fairly close despite the fact that I manage the place. I won’t be getting an increase in pay but everyone else who works there will be. Our pay cheques will now be almost identical. How fair is it that I do triple the work then they do, put in long hours (most that I’m not even paid for) and have a ton more responsibilities and be paid the same? Most of you will say ‘Get a new job’ or ‘Ask for a raise’ but with the economy the way it is there’s no way it can be increased and have you seen the unemployment rate lately?

  26. L. Wilson says:

    Bread and Milk have both gone up 30% in my small town over the last two weeks.

  27. Mike says:

    As a McDonalds employee, I’ve noticed that there have actually been big differences. Value Picks combos went from $4.18 to $4.74. Big Mac, QP and 6 piece nugget meals went from $6.77 to $7.10. Big macs, Quarter pounders, 6 piece nuggets, sundaes and large fries went up 10 cents each. A few breakfeast items went up as well, it’s pretty brutal.

  28. John says:

    So do prices only go up when the minimum wage goes up?
    Do you suppose that retailers may like to raise their prices when the blame can be put on the government or those O-so-greedy minimum wager earners?
    The interesting thing is the complainers are probably the people who are makine wages well above the minimum poverty wage.
    Why don’t the company executives take a pay cut to offset raising prices?
    Food for thought.

  29. mikemills says:

    its unfortunate that the corporations like mcdonalds use the minimum wage hike as an excuse to increase profits. multinationals like mcd’s are swimming in cash, please…you raise the min wage to $20/hour…and mcd’s would still be filthy rich..its greed baby. look at their costs, its supplies are manufactured, processed in non-union countries that have questionable labour practices…shame on you mcd’s…

  30. Dixie says:

    Pizza Hut got rid of here by one pizza get the 2nd 1/2 off deak becuase of minimum wage going up.

    I don’t think the min wage going up is going to help anyone, prices everywhere will just go up. It is really going to hurt student jobs, becuase companies like mine will hire less students and more part time adults.

  31. Alex says:

    “I don’t think the min wage going up is going to help anyone”

    I think that minimum wage increase will help anyone making minimum wage Dixie. Are these people not anyone to you?

    Take care

  32. Glen says:

    Pizza Hut is such a price whore…too bad I liked grease on pizza…haha

  33. Sally says:

    Lmao Glen, its the best crisping it up in the oven the next day isn’t it 😉

  34. Alex says:

    An example of how low paid workers are treated by big corporations:

  35. westonguy says:

    why do we care that prices have gone up at McDonalds? You really shouldn’t eating this stuff anyways.

  36. Glen says:

    Hahaha Sally…I see you know Pizza Hut only too well.

  37. Jennifer says:

    I noticed the price of a #1 combo at Burger King has gone up. It was $5xx now is $6xx. What a rip off.

  38. Nadia says:

    A burger King kids meal is now $6.99 tax included. Who the hell is going to pay $7 bucks for a meal from a grease slop like BK for a 4 year old kid. they cannot justify raising the price over a buck for that. I will NEVER eat there again and I will make sure I will tell everyone I know to pass it on to everyone they know to boycott the dump. Greedy jerks~! Every single one of these corporations. Pathetic!!

  39. ryan says:

    i am a restaurant owner, and i find some of your comments unsettling. for one restaurants do not raise liqour prices because they don’t have to print a new menu is insane. restaurants raise liqour prices because the cost of liqour increases or for other reasons, and they do have to print a new page in their menu if they change the prices it is required by the liqour control board as well just so you are aware in the last couple of years over 325 bars, pubs, and nightclubs in ontario alone have closed from losing money. restaurants (big or small) cannot afford to have over 3 dollars an hour in minimum wage increases over 3 years. for my small business with the employees that i have i will be paying over 45,000 dollars a year more in labour at the end of the wage increases that is more money than the profit that i make in a year so would you have me not increase prices, lose all of my profit and then close my doors and put my staff out of a job. a lot of people have an opinion on this subject without having any idea about what they are talking about. and it doesn’t just stop at the minimum wage earners either, if you were making $10.50 and mimimum wage goes to $10.50 then you would expect to get a raise so that you are not making minimum wage when you were above minimum wage before. the only people that benefit from large increases to minimum wage are the governments that make more money in payroll taxes, and that is all it is about putting more money into government pockets.

  40. Larry says:

    Perhaps we should all patronize those establishments that demonstrate some restraint in raising prices when they are obligated to provide a fair wage to their workers.

    Only if these noted establishments feel a decline in their overall sales will they make a connection with their last price increase and a drop in revenue. This is the free market in action !!

  41. Suzanne says:

    Ryan the Restaurant Owner, thank you! You are right on, especially about those with wages near minimum having to all get bumped up for equity. All the wages will go up 20%, including the people load up and drive the trucks delivering the food, do food prices to restaurants will go up. Since most business owners actually are in it for the money, it gets stuck to the consumer. The government is the winner. You’re welcome.

  42. Jonathan says:

    I am really not sure this had anything to do with the minimum wage going up. BC has the lowest miniumum wage in the country, and it hasn’t changed in a decade, and yet McD’s jacked up all of their prices here too, and the value menu 3.99 combos are gone completely.

  43. Paulita Winograd says:

    find more


  • RSS Hot Canada Deals

  • Recent Comments

  • Did You Know?

    Smart Canucks is Canada's first Canadian shopping deals blog and has been operating since 2005!

  • Join Mailing List




    Find Deals by Brand!