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Customers Condemn $21 Subway Sandwich Amid California Minimum Wage Hike

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Customers Condemn $21 Subway Sandwich Amid California Minimum Wage Hike
Source: Wikipedia

Customers Condemn $21 Subway Sandwich Amid California Minimum Wage Hike

Source: Wikipedia

There are around 200,000 fast-food restaurants in the United States. For decades, Americans have preferred these places for their good, quick, and inexpensive selections, but that is all changing.

Fast food prices, particularly those at Subway, have risen dramatically over the years. However, with California’s new minimum wage law, costs have skyrocketed. Many Americans have now decided that these businesses are no longer worth it.

Prices at Subway

Source: @LamarEvansville/Facebook

Before going into Subway’s new price tags, it’s important to understand how much a sandwich at the famous fast food company used to cost.

Costs vary by location and state. Generally, in the 1990s, most Subway sandwiches cost between $2.49 and $3.99. By the end of the 2000s, prices had skyrocketed to $6.99 or even $8.99.

The Genius of the $5 Footlong

Source: Reddit

However, in 2008, Subway launched one of the most successful marketing initiatives of all time: the $5 footlong. Customers could buy a 12″ sub of their choosing for $5 at practically every Subway outlet across the country. Due to this, the sales exploded.

In fact, some locations reported sales increases ranging from 35% to 50%, while others saw more than 50% growth as a result of the offer.

Subway Stopped the $5 Footlongs in 2019

Source: Reddit

Ten years later, the fast food business decided to discontinue the popular deal. They stated that due to rising ingredient costs, they could no longer sell sandwiches at such a low price.

Over the last five years, the prices at the famous sandwich store have gradually but steadily risen higher than ever before. Now, a 12″ sub can cost between $8.49 and $10.49, with certain specialty sandwiches costing more.

One Woman Just Paid $21 for Her Subway

Source: Reddit

About six months ago, a Reddit user posted that they “bought a Subway Sandwich for 21 bucks,” the post has since gone viral.

Hundreds of Reddit users responded to the article. The majority of them were horrified at the cost of a fast-food sandwich. Others suggested using the Subway app to get coupons and discounts, while others just stated that Subway is no longer worth their money.

The Reddit User Opted for a Specialty Sandwich

Source: Pinterest

Several people speculated that the poster likely chose one of the restaurant’s specialty sandwiches. They stated that a “build your own” footlong with only one protein now costs around $12.

However, the overall view was that, regardless of how “special” the sandwich is, a fast food meal for one person should never cost more than $20.

Subway Isn’t the Only Fast Food Chain Under Fire

Source: Pinterest

While Subway is undoubtedly in hot water, it is not the only fast-food restaurant generating headlines for raising prices.

McDonald’s has also hiked its prices; at some locations, a Big Mac Meal now costs an almost astounding $18. People are furious that a bacon cheeseburger meal at Five Guys now costs $24. Chipotle has revealed that several of its burrito bowls will now exceed $12.
McDonald’s has also hiked its prices; at some locations, a Big Mac Meal now costs an almost astounding $18. People are furious that a bacon cheeseburger meal at Five Guys now costs $24. Chipotle has revealed that several of its burrito bowls will now exceed $12.

Why Are Fast Food Prices Increasing?

Source: Pinterest

Of course, other factors influence the cost of a fast food meal. The most major factor is inflation, which includes rising ingredient costs, restaurant hiring prices, and other operating costs.

However, many feel that the most significant driver of increasing costs for fast-food restaurants is the ever-increasing cost of labor, specifically boosting the minimum wage.
However, many feel that the most significant driver in increasing costs for fast food restaurants is the ever-increasing cost of labor. Specifically, boosting the minimum wage.

Gavin Newsom’s Newest Law Is to Blame

Source: gavinnewsom/Instagram

Many Americans argue that California Governor Gavin Newsom is directly responsible for the exorbitant prices at their favorite fast-food establishments.

Last year, the governor signed legislation raising the minimum wage for fast food workers in California by 25%, from $16 to $20. Since the regulation took effect on April 1, 2024, several fast-food businesses have announced pricing increases.

The Increased Cost of Labor is Significant

Source: Pinterest

It is critical to understand that a significant rise in the hourly rate for minimum-wage workers across California will undoubtedly impact these firms’ labor costs.

Companies like McDonald’s, Chipotle, Domino’s, and Subway already pay billions of dollars in wages annually. In 2023, McDonald’s reportedly spent $13.8 billion on labor, while Chipotle spent $2.44 billion. So a 25% rise, even in their California locations, would be huge.

Others Argue That These Giant Companies Are Already Making Enough

Source: Pinterest

However, many Americans believe that these companies are abusing Gov. Newsom’s rule to raise rates across California and the country when they don’t have to.

McDonald’s, for example, claimed net profits of $7.5 billion in 2021 and $8.46 billion in 2023. That’s a big rise by any standard. The question is: Why do fast food restaurants claim they “have to” raise prices when the minimum wage increases?

Americans Can No Longer Afford Fast Food

Source: Pinterest

Unfortunately, the American people, not executives, will bear the brunt of California’s minimum wage increase. As fast food prices soar, many Americans feel they can no longer afford it.

Many Americans will undoubtedly refuse to pay $20 for a Subway sandwich or a Big Mac, but whether or not these sales losses will be significant enough to influence the actual profit margins of these massive corporations remains to be seen.
Many Americans will undoubtedly refuse to pay $20 for a Subway sandwich or a Big Mac, but whether or not these sales losses will be significant enough to influence the actual profit margins of these massive corporations remains to be seen.