Fast food prices rise (including in N.J.) as minimum wages spike

TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey is one of a host of states with minimum wage rates going up in 2019.

Consumers may soon feel the pinch as much as many of the workers serving them burgers, fries, tacos, fried chicken and other fast food menu items.

Among the fast food chains reportedly considering or implementing menu price increases (according to are Chipotle (with around two dozen N.J. locations had already hiked them recently but may again soon), Texas Roadhouse (which has six New Jersey locations and announced increases in October), and Habit Burger (boasting ten New Jersey restaurants also recently raised prices).

And they may not be alone. 

Overall, eating out for American families was 2.8% more expense in 2018, and the U.S. Department of Labor is forecasting an increase of between 2 and 3% for 2019.

New Jersey’s minimum wage will hit $10 this July 2019 and reach $15 by 2024 pursuant to a new deal struck between Governor Phil Murphy and the Democrat-dominated legislature announced last week. The Murphy Administration’s long-desired policy shift comes as the New Jersey economy shed over 2,000 jobs in December 2018.