Mike Rowe Reveals a Dirty Little Secret About California After Minimum Wage Hikes

Mike Rowe weighed in on the Panera minimum wage debate. He criticized California’s governor and the franchisee for not considering "unintended consequences."

"The market's a powerful thing," Rowe remarked. He highlighted the challenges of attracting employees when not offering competitive wages.

A donor to California Gov. Gavin Newsom attempted to bypass the state’s $20 minimum wage for fast food workers. However, he reversed course after backlash, according to The Associated Press.

Billionaire Greg Flynn, owner of 24 Panera Bread restaurants in California, decided to pay $20 per hour from April 1. This decision came after a Bloomberg report exposed his initial plan to exploit a loophole to pay less.

Flynn emphasized his commitment to his team. "Our goal is to attract and retain the best team members," he stated.

Rowe believes Flynn was pressured into offering the higher wage. He criticized the move as damaging for both the governor and Panera.

Rowe warned of the broader issues with minimum wage increases. "There's always a price to pay for doing a short-term thing," he added.

Flynn, a major franchisee and donor to Newsom’s campaigns, owns numerous fast food outlets. He has significantly contributed to Newsom's political endeavors.

A spokesperson for Newsom defended the legislation. It was said to be the result of extensive negotiations, asserting that no single individual influenced the outcome significantly.

Rowe predicted a future with fewer employees. He expects technology to replace low-wage jobs, leading to higher costs for consumers. "This is a lesson we seem determined to learn repeatedly," he concluded.