• Minimum wage increases have led to skyrocketing fast food costs
  • Corporate fast-food chains are passing the costs on to consumers
  • Is this fast-food sandwich proof of "shrinkflation"?

It's Not Your Imagination: Arizona Fast Food is Expensive

You're not imagining it: prices are skyrocketing, and portions are shrinking. Between global unrest and the recent global shutdown that shall not be named, tumult and supply chain issues are hitting businesses and industries hard around the globe.

Fast food prices increased in Arizona
McDonald's has raised prices 39-100% over the last ten years. // Canva

Those factors alone are enough to cause costs to increase. But there's another factor contributing to the sudden price jumps. And this one is much closer to home.

READ: McDonald's: One Simple Trick to Get Fresher Food! 

When Paying a Living Wage Will No Longer Pay a Living Wage

I've seen the memes everywhere: people trying to shame corporations into paying their employees a living wage. This is a great concept in theory - to pay a loosely defined salary that will magically cover all living expenses. Everything from basic housing, childcare, and groceries to that "necessary" tattoo and DoorDash delivery fees.

Fast food prices increased in Arizona
The minimum wage has increased in Arizona. Consumers are picking up the tab. // Canva

The problem is that paying employees a "living wage" is a nebulous concept, and it's proving difficult to define exactly what a living wage is when the bar keeps moving.

In the beginning, a minimum wage was supposed to be paid to workers who were just beginning their working journey. This mostly applied to teenagers and young adults who were, ideally, still living at home with parents and guardians.

This was not supposed to pay for basic "adult" life expenses like rent and household goods. No one was expected to live on this salary. Times may be changing.

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Raising Arizona's Minimum Wage

In 2016, well-meaning Arizona voters passed the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act. The act gradually raised Arizona's minimum wage from $8.05 in 2016 to $12.80 in 2022, with slight yearly increases until it reached $14.35 in 2024.

READ: A Big Change is Coming to All Arizona McDonald's Locations

Fast food prices increased in Arizona
The Filet-O-Fish seems to be shrinking. Look at the size comparison by this TikTok User. // Photos via TikTok user JohnnieCab. Created with Canva.

Nearly doubling the minimum wage in Arizona has had an impact on prices across the board.

I know the internet shamers who call out corporations for not paying a fair living wage to their employees always hope the money will come out of the profit margin. Corporate Greed is the imaginary pot of money that will magically make up the difference between a worker's salary and the cost of living.

Sadly, that's not how things work in the world. When the price of everything goes up, the price of everything goes up. Including the cost of fast food.

READ: Inflation is Hitting Arizona Harder than the Rest of the Nation

Arizona Fast-Food Chain Raises Prices on Food

Another Arizona fast-food restaurant has shamelessly raised its prices, and they're passing the cost onto consumers. According to FinanceBuzz.com, "McDonald's has raised prices between 39% and 100%" since 2014.

Fast food prices increased in Arizona
Photo via TikTok user JohnnieCab. Created with Canva.

Not only have prices skyrocketed at this restaurant, but people across the internet are calling them out, accusing the chain of shrinking the size of its sandwiches. The Filet-O-Fish is the main target of their ire.

If TikTok videos like the one below are accurate, the sandwich appears to be the size of a small slider. However, the cost of the sandwich has increased.

As TikTok user JonnieCab illustrates in this video, the diminutive sandwich seems to be slider-sized:

[FinanceBuzz | SouthEastExpress.org | Industrial Commission of Arizona | Business Insider | MarketPlace.org]

It Costs HOW MUCH? 11 Things That Are Suddenly Too Expensive in Arizona

From products we use every day to services we've come to rely on, inflation is making everything too expensive in Arizona and around the country.

Arizonans are making do where they can, crossing off things they can't afford, and settling for less whenever possible. There are some things we just can't do without.

How many have you crossed off your list?

Gallery Credit: Val Davidson/TSM

Who are the Winners? The Top 8 Best Pizza Places in Cochise County!

The best pizza in Cochise County, in no particular order. You answered and here's the list of our favorites!

Gallery Credit: Val Davidson

LOOK: Most common fast food chains in Arizona

Stacker compiled a list of the most common chain restaurants in Arizona using data from the Friendly City Lab at Georgia Tech.

The following statistics are based on data from the year 2022.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

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