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There's a Gigantic Income Gap in the Restaurant Industry There's a Gigantic Income Gap in the Restaurant Industry

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There's a Gigantic Income Gap in the Restaurant Industry

In 2012, top restaurant industry CEOs made 788 times more on average than minimum wage employees.


(Economic Policy Institute)

It's not really surprising to learn that full-time restaurant employees making minimum wage aren't doing too great. What is surprising—and reasonably jaw-dropping—is just how much more money CEOs at the largest restaurant companies made in 2012 than those employees.

A new study from the Economic Policy Institute's Ross Eisenbrey shows that a minimum-wage employee makes in a full year much less than an average top restaurant CEO makes in one day. The actual numbers: A full-time minimum-wage employee made $15,080 in 2012. The average top restaurant CEO earned $11,884,000. That's 788 times as much as a minimum wage employee made.


The average CEO data comes from the S&P 1500. As a chart from EPI shows, this trend is only getting more extreme:


(Economic Policy Institute)



The National Restaurant Association, which represents the CEOs, is no fan of a minimum-wage increase, as Eisenbrey notes. Just this past March, the association took that message to the Senate, with a New Jersey restaurateur telling the U.S. Senate, Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee that increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour would cut jobs and hurt small businesses.

The Fair Minimum Wage Act, which would increase the federal minimum to $10.10, was introduced by Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., and Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa. Both bills are in committee.

Update: This story has been clarified based on new information from EPI.

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