Across the United States on Thursday, fast food employees held rallies urging lawmakers to raise the minimum wage to $15. At Moo Cluck Moo in the Detroit suburbs, that's already what workers are making.
The first location of this fast-casual chain opened close to two years ago, and employees made $12 an hour, co-founder Brian Parker told NPR. He made sure each person he hired was able to do every job in the restaurant, from baking buns to whipping up sauces. Because people are "really into their jobs," there's very low turnover, Parker added, and so he doesn't have to spend money training new people. Now workers earn $15 an hour; typically, fast food employees in the U.S. earn $8 to $9 an hour.
Prices are a little higher — grass-fed burgers are $6, compared with Big Macs, which are about a dollar less — but Moo Cluck Moo has already opened a second location and is planning to keep expanding. Manager Dan Chavez said his job is "more fun" than others he's had, since he's able to do a little of everything. "It feels good to be able to pay my bills and enjoy a little of life," he said.