We Found A Fast Food CEO Who Is Not Entirely A Jerkface
Wait, we have a Nice Time story about a fast food company? Seriously? That's a thing?! Well, golly gee willikers!
Yes, it turns out Sonic CEO Clifford Hudson is not a deranged sociopath willing to paint a dire, ludicrously unrealistic picture of the potential ramifications of raising the minimum wage. Unlike, say, Carl's Jr. CEO Andy Puzder, who believes all workers should be replaced with robots and loves roasting baby penguins over an open fire stoked by Nicaraguan child-slaves . During Sonic's quarterly conference call Tuesday, Hudson was NOT an apocalyptic doom prophet about the prospect of higher employee wages. He didn't even cackle once:
"I am not suggesting that there is not a challenge to move that kind of pricing, that kind of hourly wage pricing component, but these are proposed on a multi-year stage basis and there is no doubt that this is going to be inflationary as this relates to consumer product," Hudson said in his company's quarterly conference call Tuesday.
Sure! Prices will definitely go up related to increased wages. No one really denies that. But Hudson's reaction to that is basically, "Chillax, broheims, it's going to go up slowly over several years, and it's not going to be the end of the world." This call for more chill is backed up by actual research showing a graduated minimum wage raise to $15 would raise the price of a Big Mac from $5.23 to $5.45. "OH NO, 22 CENTS, WHATEVER SHALL WE DO, THE END TIMES ARE UPON US" is a viewpoint to which Sonic CEO Clifford Hudson is all "nah."
Hudson also throws some valuable Real Talk down on the crazy notion that raises to the minimum wage could make the company cut employees' hours:
We did the same thing with our operators as related to Affordable Care Act ... and we spent a long period of time showing how to utilize it, what to think about it from a pricing standpoint, how to engage their employees and certainly not to start cutting back employees time because we are concerned that it would negatively impact service and then in return their sales and profitability.
Hudson is basically saying that any company that freaked out and sounded the doom alarm over the ACA murdering jobs is wrong and dumb. (Also, points for using the term "Affordable Care Act" and not spitting the word "Obamacare" with a venom usually reserved for the words "child molester.") He is correct! Obamacare has been woefully lacking in the Job-Murder department, although it has excelled in the Protecting the Most Vulnerable Among Us and Saving America Buttloads of Money departments.
We can't believe we are saying this -- we NEVER say this -- but this fast food CEO seems like a decent human being, or at least an eminently sane one. This makes us wonder how he ever became a CEO in the first place, but hey, we're not going to complain. Good for you, Sonic CEO Clifford Hudson. We know being less douchey than your industry counterparts is a low bar, but it is one you have still managed to clear.