Welcome to First Bite, a Nation’s Restaurant News podcast, your daily source of news from NRN hosted by Holly Petre.
Today, we’re talking about the new California fast-food worker bill.
The California Senate and state Assembly passed Assembly Bill 257 on Monday — also known as the Fast Food Accountability and Standards Act or the FAST Recovery Act — which would create a state-run fast-food council that would set standard wages, working hours and conditions for employees of quick-service chains with 100 or more locations nationally.
The bill is now at Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk for signing. Newsom has not indicated if he would pass the bill, and it was initially criticized for having “significant ongoing costs” by the state Department of Finance.
The FAST Recovery Act has been met with pushback from the business community, which has criticized the bill for creating untenable standards for the restaurant industry, including the possibility of a $22 statewide minimum wage, which could raise menu prices by 20%, critics of the bill told the Los Angeles Times.
Although the council would specifically target larger chains, the International Franchise Association argues that many franchisees of these chains are smaller businesses and it would be just as challenging for them to keep up with these new standards, as it would be for an independent restaurant operator.
Learn more from senior editor Joanna Fantozzi.
Plus, catch up on all the top news of the day with our daily news recap at the beginning of each episode.