The Impacts of Higher Minimum Wages

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I have been the CEO of Beverly Hills, CA-based Fatburger since 2006. Watching the debate on higher minimum wages, things are changing quickly! Fatburger is thriving and growing quickly. We have about 200 units scattered around the world in 32 different countries … and we have about 350 more stores in our pipeline to be built in those 32 countries. We also own a sister brand called Buffalo’s Cafe, which is based in Atlanta, and Buffalo’s is in about 20 of those 32 countries.

Although true, change is inevitable. The voting public is smart. Voters are thoughtful and considerate, and they must have considered the effect this is going to have on consumer prices when they backed their elected officials to promote this. Somebody has to pay for raising the wages that restaurant workers by 50 percent, and it’s not going to be the operator. I’m sure that the voting population figured that out when they listened to the pitch on why it made sense to raise wages and raise benefits, and I’m sure they don’t mind paying $7 instead of $5 for a hamburger or whatever, because that’s what it’s going to mean. And that’s going to be across the board, and the guys that don’t raise their prices are going to go out of business 100 percent.

All of our employees are paid at least 50 cents more an hour than minimum wage, but if minimum wage goes up, even those that aren’t earning minimum wage will expect a proportionate increase. If everybody gets a 50-cent or dollar increase per hour everybody wants a dollar, not just the minimum wage earners. All of your employees are key to the success of the relationship with your customer, but the industry has done an excellent job over time providing entry-level jobs and long-term career jobs depending on your tenure and skill set and areas of interest.

This doesn’t necessarily mean a lower headcount. What this situation might do is lower the level of customer service that a customer gets in a restaurant to reduce costs. You might see more kiosks, more technology, or less customer service to make up for the cost of labor, but then you have a deteriorating experience, and that’s bad generally for business.

All in all, the restaurant industry is massive. It’s a very mature industry so prices are very efficient and there’s tremendous competition, so I don’t think there’s a lot of squeezing to do by everyone. You may see landlords reduce rents … because operators can’t afford it or it pushes back into an economic crisis. Certainly food and beverage makes up a significant portion of retail tenancy. You could argue that the guys who survive will do better because the guys who go out of business will, that eliminates competition and the guys who make it will reap the benefits of fewer guys competing against them.

 

Balancing Work and Life

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Being an entrepreneur with six kids can be a challenge, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything! Maintaining a work-life balance is definitely not an easy task, especially with 3 of my kids in business with me, but I have a few tips for anyone needing to balance their personal life and work life.

  1. Keep active! I exercise whenever I get a free moment. Some of my favorite workouts include running or something cardio related.
  2. Spend time with your family. I get to see my older children all the time at work, so it’s not so pressing to spend time with them over the weekend. I love taking my younger kids to the movies, a restaurant, or even just to hang out.
  3. Take it one step at a time. For me it’s always been to try to hit singles and doubles, and the home runs come on their own. Just try to get the logical next step and be prepared to pivot in the right direction to go from first base to second or third.
  4. Don’t talk about work every hour of every day. I’m in the office for 11 to 12 hours, but then I try to have some time with my friends and family for a meal or drinks, or just try to talk about something other than work. It’s important to get out of work mode even if it’s for only a few hours.

I love work, and I tend to go overboard when it comes to my work hours, but I will always be sure to make my family and friends a priority. Be sure to keep a good balance in your life!

Read more about how I keep my work life balanced with my family life here: http://bit.ly/1DVOCH7

Over 60 Years of Deliciousness

Fatburger

At Fatburger, we are proud to say that we’ve been doing things our own way since 1952. Because we make custom burgers one at a time, there a few things you will notice at every Fatburger. Every burger is grilled when you order it. We use only 100% USDA lean beef that is always fresh and never frozen. Our onion rings come from onions, not the freezer. Both our onion rings and fries are cooked in 100% cholesterol-free oil. Our shakes are made with real hand-scooped ice cream. Our famous chili is made with a secret blend of herbs and spices, so this means no generic burgers. Lastly, we pride ourselves in never having lame music!

I am proud to say that Fatburger has and always will be the same that it was 60 years ago. Cheers to 60 more years!

Show Me How You Shake

I want to shake it up and give a quick shout out to some of Fatburger’s biggest fans! I love seeing people around the world enjoying a meal with us!

1.  “Shake’s Too Good” with @alexx_n_white

@alexx_n_white

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes you end up finishing off your shake before you even get your food. Don’t worry about it! Happens to the best of us!

Photo Cred: @alexx_n_white

 

2. “View of DTLA” with @ngndan

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It’s nice to see a little calm to the storm that is bustling Downtown Los Angeles!

Photo Cred: @ngndan

 

3. “Waiting Patiently” with @rachelalalala

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Waiting for your Fatburger and fries? Calm your grumbling stomach with a delicious Oreo shake!

Photo Cred: @rachelalalala

 

4. “A Little Bit of Everything” with @nivekochica

@nivekochica

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s great seeing you guys combine all your favorites in your pictures, including a delicious whipped-cream-topped shake!

Photo Cred: @nivekochica

 

5. “Sunnies on the Side” with @big_hud

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Slip off those shades and head for a refreshing shake with a side of Fatburger!

Photo Cred: @big_hud

 

I want to thank all Fatburger fans for continually spreading the love! It’s amazing to see how all of you are enjoying our shakes this summer!

 

Epic Burger Rap Battle

This is the juiciest, most epic rap battle about burgers. Today, Fast Company shared this video highlighting the rivalry between some of the best burgers in the nation. The burger rivalry is one that has affected countless generations and is still very much alive today. Luckily, with Fatburger there’s no need to pick a side! Whether you’re on the east, west, or somewhere in the middle, you can find a Fatburger location! Argument settled! It doesn’t matter what side of the nation you’re on. We’ve got you covered with a delicious Fatburger every time!

Find your nearest Fatburger today: http://bit.ly/1NsMCMf

It’s Grilling Time!

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It’s summer time which means it’s time for BBQs and tons of time spent outside by the pool. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have a Fatburger! Our Fatburger patties are available at stores around the nation, which means you can customize our world famous burger any way you want. I like topping off my Fatburger with a fried egg! Our Fatburger patties are made for barbecuing, so serve them at your next backyard bash!

Happy grilling!

Happy Hour at Fatburger

I love celebrating good times! Whether it be a birthday or getting through this work week, there’s a lot to celebrate! Why not do it with some Tito’s Vodka at Fatburger?

Adding Tito’s Vodka to your happy hour routine will ensure a good night! Try this Tito’s Texas Mule at our Koreatown Fatburger location. I love sharing in the celebration, but please remember to not share with those under the legal purchase age of alcohol. Cheers!

Our First UK Site

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I am proud to announce that we have opened our first European site in London’s Camden! As global demand for our products grows, it became time to bring the Fatburger and Buffalo’s Express experience to Europe! As London is such a dynamic city, I am confident that tourists and locals alike will enjoy our delicious American cuisine.

Where do you think we should expand to next?

 

Fry-Day Favorites

TGIF! I love scrolling online and seeing Fatburger fans posting their favorite meals with us! Fries are one of my favorites to see fans munching on!
Here’s a quick round-up of my favorite Fry-Day photos:

1. The “Smothered in Love” Shot

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Photo cred: @elllllysa

2. The “Fry Bandit” Shot

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Photo cred: @anindyaadi

3. The “Fry Overboard” Shot

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Photo cred: @lvl5vegan

4. The “Pep(per) in my Step” Shot

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Photo cred: @emirgrows

5. The “More is More” Shot

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Photo cred: @youminlim

I love seeing Fatburger fans enjoy our delicious golden fries, whether they be curly, chili cheese, or plain and salty. Hope all of you have an amazing weekend!

 

 

The Perfect Grad Present!

It is graduation season and everyone is scrambling to find the perfect congratulatory gift. We have the best idea for you last minute shoppers! Customize a Fatburger E-gift card to send to your favorite graduates, they deserve to be spoiled!

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Give the celebrants the gift of a mouthwatering burger, fries, and a shake. To order your fully customized Fatburger gift cards, visit www.fatburger.com.