Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Surge Wages?

If fast food workers have to "hump" during the lunch rush, shouldn't they be paid more?

The CEO of Wendy's tried to quell the very bad press they received when they announced they were going to institute "surge pricing" on their electronic menus.  They weren't going to raise prices during rush times, no sirree!  They are just going to offer lower prices during slack times.  And that's an entirely different thing and donchuforgetit!

I am, oddly enough, quite at peace with this, provided of course, that their employee's wages track this "surge" in prices. No doubt, fast-food workers have to work twice as hard between 11:30AM and 1:30PM.  So why not pay them twice as much per hour, during busy times?

I mean, fair is fair.  Merely charging more money during the lunch rush is just generating windfall profits, with no real benefit to the customers or workers - only shareholders.

But all that being said, I doubt it will happen as the coming recession will force fast-food places to revisit the dollar menu again.  We drove by the Chrysler overflow lot today.  Not long ago, weeds were growing through the cracks in the pavement and an actual tree was growing between the beams of a parked car-carrier.

No more.  The place filled up in the last week, first with "Pacifica" minivans, and now with Jeep Grand Cherokees - once a hot seller.  This "Banking" lot was full back in 2019. The pandemic cleaned this place out for a couple of years, but in recent months, we have seen sporadic amounts of vehicles on the site - mostly minivans which are slow-sellers in the era of the SUV (and likely good bargains as a result).  But now the lot is FULL - and with "hot" SUVs to boot!

Jerking customers around over the price of a cheeseburger may sound like the latest gag in money-making - or the last gasp of an industry that has made record profits in recent years and is struggling to find ways to keep the line going up.  But the consumer has the last word in things like this, particularly when they finally run out of money (most already have) and credit (most are about to) and are forced to cut back, not out of principle, but sheer necessity.

So good luck with surge pricing and $100,000 pickup trucks.  When everyone is broke, who will buy?

P.S. - drove by the Chik-Fil-A today at 1:00PM and there was ONE CAR in the drive-through.  Granted this is at the end of the lunch rush on a Wednesday, but here in the Bible Belt, they usually have two lines at the drive through, 20 cars deep.  At the Wendy's?  No one at the drive-through and only employee's cars in the lot.  We went to our favorite Mexican dive and had two tacos al pastor and two chorizo tacos (both with soft corn tortillas, cilantro, and onions, salsa roja - that's it) and two Dos Equis Amber.  Total cost?  $15.  I left a five-dollar tip.  Beats the crap out of American fast food (cheaper, too!) and if it is bad for me, well, I'd rather die eating that that Wendy's shit.

Fuck Wendy's!