Should fast food workers make more than minimum wage? Moo Cluck Moo says yes

Sep 11, 2013

The push by fast food workers to make more than minimum wage has swept across the nation. It's raised the question: can fast-food restaurants pay their workers more than the $7.40 an hour minimum wage? If they do, will they last? Is it sustainable?

At the fast food restaurant Moo Cluck Moo, the answer is yes.

Moo Cluck Moo serves up burgers, chicken, shakes in Dearborn Heights in Wayne County.  And starting wages at Moo Cluck Moo are $12.00 an hour.

“When we opened up, I can tell you, I really didn’t even know what minimum wage was,” said Brian Parker, co-founder of Moo Cluck Moo. “We just thought that starting people based on the business model and based on the type of food we’re preparing and how we want our customer service to feel, we just thought $12 an hour was a good starting pay.”

The offer of $12 an hour attracted a wide variety of people to Moo Cluck Moo. People of many different ethnicities, religious beliefs, and backgrounds applied to work there.

One common concern about raising the minimum wage of fast food workers is that customers will have to pay more for their food, but Parker said that that is not a problem at Moo Cluck Moo. They charge $3 for a burger, with an extra charge for cheese or bacon.

“Of course we want to make money in our endeavor so we can grow,” Parker said. “But we’re not wallowing in funds and extra money that we don’t want to share with the rest of the team. . . . We want to spread the wealth.”

Even better, Parker plans to increase the starting wage even more. Employees will be paid $15 an hour starting October 1st.

“I think that’s the underlying message here, looking at who your team is and showing them that we’re all in this together and we’re all working hard,” said Parker.

-Michelle Nelson, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Listen to the full interview above.