This State Already Pays $15 for Minimum Wage

This State Already Pays $15 for Minimum Wage

New York implemented a new minimum wage at $15 an hour for fast food workers. This change will affect over 100 brands that operate in the state. Of course, there is a catch: The businesses must have a minimum of 30 other locations. It means that the most popular fast food franchises in the world like McDonalds, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Burger King will need to make this change.

The new minimum wage, which represents a whopping 67% increase, will take full effect by the year 2018 in New York and 2021 throughout the rest of the US. There will be a total of about 116 franchises that will have to abide by the new law. We can all say thanks to the board of the state’s labor department who will soon be getting the last approval they need from the labor commissioner. Also, there will be numerous fast food chains that are not franchises, but may still get affected by the change because they also have a minimum of 30 other locations worldwide in operation.

Here is a list of several companies who will be complying with the new rule:

A

  • Abbott’s Frozen Custard
  • AFC Franchise Corp/Southern Tsunami
  • Arby’s
  • Auntie Anne’s
  • A&W

B

  • Baja Fresh
  • Baskin-Robbins
  • Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop
  • Bimbo Foods
  • Blimpie
  • Bojangle’s
  • Breadsmith
  • Bruster’s Real Ice Cream
  • Burger King
  • Burgerfi

C

  • Captain D’s
  • Carvel Ice Cream Shoppe
  • Charley’s Philly Steaks
  • Checkers
  • Cheeburger Cheeburger
  • Chester’s
  • Chick-Fil-A
  • Church’s Chicken
  • Cinnabon
  • Cold Stone Creamery
  • Cookies by Design/Cookie Bouquet

D

  • Dairy Queen Grill & Chill/Texas DQ
  • Dickey’s Barbecue Pit
  • Dippin’ Dots
  • Domino’s
  • Donut Connection
  • DQ Treat
  • Dunkin’ Donuts
  • Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin-Robbins (Co-brand)

E

  • Einstein Bros.
  • Elevation Burger

F

  • Famous Famiglia
  • Firehouse Subs
  • Five Guys
  • Freshii
  • Froyoworld, Frozen Yogurt Lounge
  • Fruitfull

G

  • Godfather’s Pizza
  • Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill
  • Great American Bagel
  • Great American Cookies
  • Great Harvest Bread Co.
  • Great Steak & Potato Company
  • Great Wraps

H

  • Haagen-Dazs
  • Hungry Howie’s

J

  • Jamba Juice
  • Jersey Mike’s
  • Jimmy John’s

K

  • KFC
  • Kona Ice

L

  • Little Caesars
  • Long John Silver’s
  • Loving Hut

M

  • Marble Slab Creamery
  • Marco’s Pizza
  • Moe’s Southwest Grill
  • Maui Wowi
  • McDonald’s
  • Mister Softee
  • Mrs. Fields
  • Muscle Maker Grill

N

  • Nathan’s Famous
  • Noble Roman’s Pizza
  • NrGize Lifestyle Cafe

O

  • Orange Julius
  • Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt

P

  • Panchero’s
  • Panda Express
  • Papa John’s
  • Philly Soft Pretzel Factory
  • Pinkberry
  • Pizza Hut
  • Planet Smoothie
  • Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen
  • Pretzelmaker

Q

  • Qdoba Mexican Grill
  • Quiznos

R

  • Red Mango
  • Rita’s Ice-Custard-Happiness
  • Robeks
  • Roly Poly Sandwiches
  • Roy Rogers

S

  • Saladworks
  • Salsarita’s
  • Samurai Sam’s Teriyaki Grill
  • Sarku Japan
  • Sbarro
  • Shane’s Rib Shack
  • Smashburger
  • Smoothie King
  • Sonic Drive-In
  • Subway
  • Surf City Squeeze
  • Sweetfrog

T

  • Taco Bell
  • Taco Del Mar
  • Taco John’s
  • TCBY
  • Tim Hortons
  • Tropical Smoothie Cafe

V

  • Villa Pizza

W

  • Wendy’s
  • Wetzel’s Pretzels
  • Which Wich
  • Wing-Stop
  • Wing Zone

Y

  • Yogen Fruz
  • Yogurtland

Z

  • Zoup!
  • Zpizza

The new increase will likely not hurt big name companies, but it may be different for others. There are some cases where fast food restaurants are run by individuals, so the change will highly impact them because they are still technically small businesses. After a bit of research in the state of New York, it was found that a majority of fast food workers are at least twenty-two years old. However, Laura Jankowski, who owns three Tropical Smoothie locations in the state, says that most of the workers employed in the business are either high school students or college students. Jankoski adds that a majority of those kids earn $8.75 per hour, and the shift leaders there earn $1 more per hour.

With the new wage increase, Jankowski mentioned that she will pay another $24,000 at the busiest location, then another $18,000 and $15,000 at two other sites. Jankowski says that these numbers from last year will only double this year. Jankowski says that the minimum wage increase that is slowly sweeping across the state means that the higher prices will force her, and likely other places to hire fewer workers.

She also says that she will have no choice but to terminate several employees. She also added that there is very little wiggle room for franchise operators to up the prices and expect not to lose customers. There may be businesses out there that will not be affected by the rule, but still be affected by it because there is added pressure to have to compete for employees. Small business owner Howard Nielson of Sticky Lips BBQ believes that he will have a hard time employing a quality grill man (or woman) due to the disadvantage. At the same time, Neilson is also dealing with an increase in meat and dairy expenses. Neilson says that he may also have to increase the prices he sells his meals for and find those who will find them affordable. Nielson mentions that overall he too supports increases in minimum wage.

Nevertheless, he believes it should get implemented so that both businesses and consumers have time to adjust properly to the wage increase. The board of state’s labor department change to wages in New York is likely to get the last approval from the labor commissioner; it is only a waiting game now. Only time will tell if there are outside benefits to increasing employee income. There is no telling if the benefits will outweigh the negatives.

McDonald’s Is At It Again: A New “Dinner” Side Option for Kids Meals

McDonald's Is At It Again: A New "Dinner" Side Option for Kids Meals

McDonald’s has been busy trying various new options, hoping for a hit. Not too long ago they introduced the all-day breakfast menu, but things started to turn for the worse when breakfast customers noticed they weren’t serving hashed browns. Others were just as shocked when they came out with mozzarella sticks, lobster rolls, and truffle fries although the additions received mixed reviews overall.

Now, some locations are currently adding macaroni and cheese to their Happy Meals. The fast food chain decided to start last week. They decided that they wanted to give the idea one more go after introducing “cheesy macaroni snacks” in Australia nearly two years ago. As quickly as it was added to the menu, it was taken off too.

It is still not known as to why the menu item got the plug after such a short amount of time. It’s speculated that this time McDonald’s hopes that serving mac and cheese without the fried batter would encourage more sales. The dish will be a new option you can ask for instead of asking for fries. So that means the fries would not get covered under the cheesy treat — although it wouldn’t hurt to ask or do it yourself. After all, you would have the option of adding mac and cheese a-la-carte too.

If you want to replace your carbs, you might as well get the cheesier version, right? There are some that believe offering the item in Happy Meals means that kids would be eating the new dish alone and would still be an unhealthy choice. And other customers believe the menu is healthier regardless of the calories.

If you are interested in trying the new menu out, you can purchase it for $1.75. They will serve the mac and cheese in a bowl, which is about 190 calories each (which is about the same as eating four of their McNuggets). For now, you can grab this treat if you live in certain areas of Cleveland and Ohio.

While it is in its testing phase, a spokeswoman of McDonald’s stated that was currently too early for them to say if they will expand it to other locations. Not only that, this item will only be available for a limited amount of time. However, if things go well, it’s unknown if McDonald’s will start adding it to more locations. Still, McDonald’s does seem to have a reason to believe customers around the world are hungry to have a cheesy pasta dish. They added a new mac and cheese croquette sandwich, coupled with “demi-glace” sauce, in Japan. Thus far, the change has received a lot of mixed reviews.

However, critics question the quality of the food they serve. Because McDonald’s is a fast-food restaurant, it’s highly unlikely that they would make the meal from scratch. Many consumers believe that the mac and cheese will be pre-prepared to make both the workload and time a lot swifter. According to one employee, the meal comes in frozen. If there is anyone that is on the happier side of the fence regarding the new menu, then it would be the dairy farmers and the cheese makers in the state. With more demand for cheese products, they get to enjoy more profit, even if it may be only for a little while.

McDonald’s was once thought of as solely a burger joint, but with all the different dishes they are trying, the idea will soon change. Do you think they are moving forward in the right direction by testing new meals or is everything better left as is?

Google Can Now Help You Find the Best Mortgage Out There

 

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We all know that Google, the largest search engine, is always looking for more things they can do to take over the world. Just when we think they have surpassed themselves already, they surprise us with something else.

Google has officially launched their newest product service: mortgages. In the words of Dax Craig, Valen Analytics President and CEO, this is a game changer. Google mentioned on their site that “purchasing a house is a huge financial decision – so in regards to getting a mortgage, people would like a simple way to understand and compare several options on the web.”

The new service may not come as a surprise, as Google did mention earlier this year that the program was in the works. For a long while, the company has set its eyes on entering the mortgage market with its Compare brand.

Although the idea is new, Google already released a service similar to this in the United Kingdom, where they released information about the product becoming available in the U.S. around May.

For now, Google’s Compare for Mortgages will be available to use for those who live in California. Google’s official licensed mortgage broker will also be based in California. The service will allow possible buyers to check and compare various mortgages from lenders so they can find the best deal for them. There will be more states added in the future.

Google’s Compare tool for mortgages will be free for everyone and give people the ability to view over 300 mortgages from over 75 lenders in the state of California. Although the tool will be free, it’s not necessarily a public service for consumers. A statement on the Google Adwords website stated, “Participation in the Google Compare tool is based on a flexible model they call cost-per-lead (CPL).

Nevertheless, paying for leads doesn’t necessarily affect rankings. Google incorporated a mortgage calculator to its organic search earlier in the year. A spokesman for Google did mention that nearly 50% of borrowers didn’t seem to be shopping around for mortgages. Google stated in an AdWords blog that their new mortgage product will provide users with a seamless, intuitive experience that couples lenders with borrowers on the web.

Google also said no matter if you are a national lender or a local California lender, those looking for mortgages on their PC or Smartphone will be able to locate you. They stated the searches are completed in real time and will show a side-by-side comparison of rate quotes from other lenders. All that in as little as sixty seconds.

Borrowers can also view ratings, as well as submit relevant information (like home value, loan amount, or estimated credit) to retrieve rate quotes. Shoppers can take a look at the website afterward to apply online or via the phone.

Both home seekers and homeowners that use the service will find that it’s user-friendly. Those who visit the Google Compare for Mortgages portal will get guided through the basic steps, including pricing of homes, submitting their zip code and down payment. Then they will supply you a lender based on your custom preferences.

There will be several partners joining Google Compare for Mortgages, including Lending Tree and Zillow. Zillow will be there to assist in powering Google with data on lender rates, ratings, and reviews. Users will also be able to enter how much money they would like to borrow, enter their current credit score, or add how much the value of their home is. You will be taken to relevant results based on what you entered with quoted rates that match what you want. Lending Tree will be there to help push data to the service.

Google Compare is based a flexible cost-per-lead model. There is also a sub-branch of the new product called Google Compare for car insurance that was first talked about in March in California. Two months after that, Google said that the Google Compare for Insurance will soon be expanding in Texas, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. They also plan to add ratings with it and insurance agent support for those who need it.

Google already has an online comparison tool with a relatively simple portal. It includes a list of big carriers that have already signed on as partners. They also released a similar product that targeted the auto insurance market. William Berkley, CEO of W.R. Berkley Corporation mentioned at a management seminar towards the end of January that Google has the capability to change auto insurance. He added that Google has a competitive edge in the game. Experts believe that Google Compares’ potential influence in regards to auto insurance is overblown. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Is This The End of Tipping For Restaurants?

Is This The End of Tipping For Restaurants

Whether we head out to eat or have the food we ordered delivered to us; it is common etiquette to tip these people even if it is just a couple of bucks — it would otherwise be rude if you don’t. What if the next time you eat out at a restaurant you didn’t have to tip? It’s becoming more common when people go out to eat.

Not tipping anymore at restaurants could be the new way to do things in the future, as it is right now in Europe. The no tipping policy will also mean prices will rise. Jay Holland, government affairs coordinator at the New York State Restaurant Association, stated that there is a growing movement to change how tipped workers get paid. Since January of 2015, the Trou Normand in California will no longer require their customers to leave a tip as the increase in menu prices will take care of it.

Many food industries believe it’s about time for restaurants to follow suit with what every industry already does and charge money for a service rather than depend on consumers to compensate their employees. One owner of a popular restaurant in Kentucky mentioned that the food industry is a competitive business, and he believes the no tipping rule will be appreciated by customers because they don’t have to worry about calculating a tip after a meal.

As popular as the change is becoming, it will likely still take a long time for people to view it as the new normal. There is a lot of controversy surrounding the no tipping policy and whether or not employees will get shortchanged. The US laws state that all employers must pay their tipped employees a minimum of $2.13 per hour as long as their full pay, including tips, is equal to the minimum wage.

There are some people who are concerned that making tips obsolete isn’t that great. One issue are employees who make more than minimum wage may get less thsn they did before. Another problem would be for the customers. There are some who think that there will be lower quality of service if servers know that they are not working for tips.

Hotel and Restaurant Management program director, Martin O’ Neill, states that tipping is something people in America do because it’s repeatedly drilled into their heads by our society to do so. It’s because of that, getting rid of tipping may be to do. Many individuals are accustomed to it and may still choose to tip their server. One restaurant explicitly placed a sign for all customers to see that there was no need to tip their workers. However, there were customers that couldn’t bear to leave the table without tipping, even after getting told their workers are compensated well. It could just be something that will take time for those uncomfortable with the idea.

Although the change is a good one, with there being a minimum wage increase, it will also likely mean that costs will rise to compensate it. Menus will likely rise between 20-31%. Amanda Cohen, an owner of Dirt Candy in New York, likes the no tipping policy and minimum wage increase. Cohen stated that there is now a 20% administrative fee added to service payment so she can provide all her workers more consistent pay. There were nights when her front-of-the-house workers were leaving with hundreds in their pockets, while the cooks and some servers were making less. Some of them weren’t even going home with more than ten bucks an hour. Cohen believes businesses shouldn’t allow customers to only pay for her employees.

Cohen said that both her staff and customers were quite supportive. She mentioned that everyone is happy because back-of-the-house workers are making more and front-of-the-house workers can breathe knowing they get guaranteed pay. Thad Vogler, the owner of Bar Agricole in California, stated they also increased their services by 20% to pay all their workers in the front and back end, equally and fairly. Volger is also aware of the minimum wage increase (set to go up to $15 by 2018), and he mentioned there was no better time than now to move forward with the change. Even though most of his employees are already making that amount, he didn’t want to leave the servers out on a piece of the pie that deserve it. He admits that there are a few of his workers that are taking home less money than they were last year, but there were a lot of things that improved at the restaurant.

Whether you are for the change or not, it is something that is happening, and overall, it does not appear to be a bad thing.

Amazon Moving Forward with Creating Computer Chips

Amazon Moving Forward with Creating Computer Chips

Amazon is known as “the place” to get just about anything you want online for a great price, and fast too. They have been working hard to meet the needs and demands of customers who like speedy deliveries by offering Prime, Prime Now, and their soon-to-be drone delivery service. Amazon has grown to be so much more than just a site where you buy and order stuff. Though they’ve been around for a long time, they know what to do to stay marketable and current for consumers.

As the company is growing in popularity and breaking new grounds, why wouldn’t they take their financial success to create new gadgets? The Wall Street Journal, reported that the large e-commerce company is making plans to go into the semiconductor business by branding and releasing their own computer chips. They also highlighted that Amazon’s growth revenue trails the industry average of 38%. Their revenues increased by 23% from the same quarter of the previous year. Their net income raised by 118% compared to the same quarter a year prior. Their net income growth from the same quarter a year ago exceeded the projections that S&P assumed.

Annapurna Labs is an Israeli subsidiary of the company that Amazon bought last year for $350 million. On Wednesday Annapurna Labs, which is now located in San Jose, California, unleashed the secret to the public and said they’re developing a new line of chips they call Alpine. Gary Szilagyi, the vice president at Annapurna Labs, stated that the company’s Alpine platform-on-chip, as well as their subsystems product lines, provides services providers and OEMs alike a high-performance platform. They want to create hardware that can support growing consumer demands for fast connectivity, innovative services, and many connected devices.

Now that the company got bought by Amazon last January, the startup has shown great growth as evidence of the expanded retail operations. The semiconductor technology that the company is using is based on licensed designs from ARM Holdings. It’s commonly used in a lot of today’s popular products like media streaming devices, Wi-Fi routers, and data centers. This technology is probably the most popular in the smartphone market. Although Intel did make an attempt to crack their share into the segment, they weren’t as successful.

However, the case is different for Amazon as they are trying to take the leap into the computer world, which is primarily dominated by Intel. ARM’s presence in the PC segment has posed a wide threat to the world’s largest chipmaker that currently controls about 99% of shares for server chips. Diane Bryant, business chief of Intel’s data center corporation, stated that ARM’s current share is even below half of a tenth of a percent.

Bryant added that consumers take advantage of that option as a tool for negotiating prices with Intel. However, the Alpine chips being created by the lab are a tad different from the chips that Intel make. It’s because the company is designing them for low-power PCs that make up at the edge of the market. It will mostly be useful for storage and networking purposes rather than the high-end server market that is virtually overtaken by Intel.

The lab says that their technology is already getting utilized in various commercial products created by manufacturers like Netgear, Synology, and Asustek. They say that they also plan on selling their development kits in combination with their chips that could allow their customers to modify what they need in their usage.

As of now, Amazon Web Services is also employing additional engineers to support the acquired startup and add even more to its original capabilities. Amazon has grown to be quite notorious for their acquisitions and for stopping their retail operations as a helpful strategy to spend more time focusing on making technology specifically for internal use. The practice is clear when you remember it was Amazon that purchased Kiva Systems, a robot developer, for the price of $775 million back in 2012. It later halted its robot selling business to retailers.

The same situation might happen in the Annapurna case. Nevertheless, the web retailer has plans to sell their chips to other retailers, which is an outcome that was a shock to many. The e-commerce giant had declined to give any comment on its plans regarding the lab they recently acquired. The Alpine chips are not yet available for purchasing yet through Amazon’s site.

Some Banks Are Starting to Reward Customers for Saving

some banks are starting to reward customers for saving

According to a study conducted my Moody’s Analytics, people under the age of 35 can’t seem to save. Adults between thirty-five and forty-four are in better shape compared to their younger counterparts. Their savings, on average, actually have increased by about 3%. Still, most US residents have little to no savings.

There are a couple of institutions that are trying to change things. They will be rewarding certain account holders with prizes simply for saving their money. A federal legislation that was passed in 2014 will legalize the practice for both credit unions and large bank institutions in any state to award prizes. A co-sponsor of the bill, Representative Derek Kilmer, stated it doesn’t matter if there was a job someone had lost or there was a medical emergency, having a savings account is an important cushion everyone should have. The bill flew through both the Democratic and Republic houses. The passing of the bill has removed federal boundaries across a couple of laws. It will permit several institutions to clone successful programs in North Carolina, Michigan, Washington, and Nebraska, There is also a minimum of six other states that have recently passed laws that allow similar programs.

The initial large-scale prize-linked saving program came to the US by way of the state of Michigan around 2009. They called the program “Save to Win,” and it focused on rewarding current account customers for each $25 deposit. There were always certificates of deposit (CD) accounts who would receive entries from the raffle year round. Winners would have monthly prizes bestowed to them amounting in as much as $3,570. There were also annual prizes where someone could get as much as $10,000. Kilmer added that he thought the idea itself is nice because it’s a win-win situation. He states that the worst case scenario is that you have saved yourself a chunk of money and the best case scenario is that you have money in your savins, and you get the cash prize.

The non-for-profit Doorways to Dreams Fund D2D), who helped create the program, mentioned that a majority of the participants never used to save their cash before they became part of “Save to Win.” Vice president of the credit union, senior vice president Kim Vermander stated that citizens that don’t make a lot of money often struggle to save their funds. However, a great deal of these individuals fully commited themselves to save at least $12.50 from every paycheck they earned so they have the chance to join the program.

For the past several years, the jackpot has been a pretty big deal. Vermander states that there are lots of people simply donating and giving away the prize to the winner without expecting anything in return. Vermander continued to state that if people are about to do that, why shouldn’t they be able to save with a program like this? It is a complete no-brainer.

From the time the program opened its doors, it has spread the love of about $1.6 million in prizes to almost 14,000 lucky winners. The program encourages many consumers to stick their hundred dollar bills in a safe place they can use for rainy days. As of February 2016, the program has helped over 70,000 US citizens saves over $40 million!

Executive Director of the D2D Fund, Timothy Flacke says that a majority of people look at their savings account no differently than how a kid looks at their vegetables. A program like this will add room for fun and allow people to save. With the new legislation in place, more large banks will have the ability to adopt the same thing. Flacke believes that implementing them will be quite the task, at least until more states change their laws that block prize-linked accounts.

 

Are Women Twice as Likely to Be Poor?

Are Women Twice as Likely to Be Poor

Although people don’t talk about gender discrimination as much as they used to, it’s still happening. For every dollar that an average man earns, a woman only earns 78 cents. In the long run, most women don’t have the same type of savings to live on in comparison to the opposite sex. In fact, females are nearly two times as likely to retire into poverty. This issue is raising a lot of heads in the US, and it has everyone talking about it.

The Employee Benefit Research Institute’s report last December discovered that the average amount in a man’s 401(k) savings account is about $18,000. The United States Government Accountability Office shows that the average for women is 59% less. Women who work in the public sector tend to have slightly better numbers. In the several states that offer several defined benefits pension plan, ladies receive an average of $18,000 when they retire from working in public service.

In another, more recent poll conducted by the National Institute of Retirement discovered that a massive amount of US residents, about 86%, think that the nation is currently dealing with a retirement crisis. Three out of four Americans are worried about their ability to build a secure retirement plan. It’s the reason US citizens, especially women, want people in authority to talk more about and support comprehensive plans for the earnings gap.

There are some officials in America that are already starting deep conversations about these issues. In 2014, the Women’s Economic Security Act was signed in Minnesota. The law is there to make sure that both women and men get paid equally for the same jobs as well as receive equivalent workplace protections and retirement benefits. The new law ensures that the states explore retirement savings options for those working that don’t have it.

Even though there are some plans in place to help with earnings equality, there are still other factors that can affect how much people earn.

Males and Females Tend to Work in Completely Different Professions

The American Community Survey conducted one of the most comprehensive surveys for both genders in the workplace, which included about 3.5 million households in America. They gathered four years worth of data (from 2009 to 2013) which showed that the most common job for woman works is administrative work. The second most common job is a nurse, followed by teaching. The most common job for males is working as drivers, in sales positions and other managerial positions, including supply chain and investment fund managers.

 

Even With Categorized Occupations, There Remains Wage Gaps

Although more women work as a teacher compared to men, guys can expect to make an average of $1,096 weekly while a woman makes $956, about 86 cents cheaper. A couple of cents less than the dollar does not originally seem like more until you add it up. It can very well make the different between having a six-figure income over a five-figure income. The difference is the most remarkable when you look at tech jobs. One study last year found that ladies earn below six figures in a technical director role, while men get about $40,000 more annually. The American Association of University Women completed a survey that revealed a 7% earnings gap between male and female graduates a year later.

 

So Far, There is No Major Improvement

According to the Census Bureau, women were able to increase their hourly wage by 1.5 cents since 2012. However, the National Women’s Law Center mentioned there has not been much more of a change than that in the last decade. They believe there are several things halting improvements such as the fact that the lowest paying jobs are comprised mostly of women. If minimum wage were increased, it would make a huge difference.

Others believe that the growth is due to the decline of guys working in the labor force and not better conditions for ladies.

Things Look Worse For Some

Wage earnings are more than just a male to female issue. Women from Hispanic backgrounds make 56 cents, and African Americas make 64 cents for every dollar that a Caucasian makes. There’s even a “motherhood penalty,” where moms without kids make less than mothers who have children. Pew Research Center reports that about 40% of women are considered the breadwinners in their home. The issue we have at stake is more than just women. It also concerns how it affects their family.