Forget the 20 Dollar-an-Hour Burger Flipper, Wait’ll You See What the Managers Make – IOTW Report

Forget the 20 Dollar-an-Hour Burger Flipper, Wait’ll You See What the Managers Make


California now requires that fast-food workers make at least $20 an hour. But as the Wall Street Journal reports, a less-publicized part of the same law requires that fast-food managers make at least $83,200. That’s the background for the newspaper’s day-in-the-life feature about a general manager at a Raising Cane’s chicken restaurant near Los Angeles who makes an impressive $174,000 annually with bonuses included. “It’s been life-changing for my family,” says 27-year-old Monique Pizano. Her base salary is $85,000, and she makes the rest in performance bonuses at the busy store with nearly 100 employees. “Busy” translates to $9 million in annual sales, more than your typical McDonald’s.

Raising Cane’s, based in Baton Rouge, pays its 850 general managers well because it sees them as “critical partners” in the chain’s success, per the Journal. Chipotle Mexican Grill and Shake Shack also pay six figures to top store managers, notes the newspaper, while others offer stock as compensation. As for Pizano, she gets to her store before 6am and leaves about 4pm, and the story takes you through the particulars of her day in charge. The feature is similar to a previous one about a Walmart superstore manager who pulls in an even more impressive $240,000 per year. Read the Cane’s story in full.


33 Comments on Forget the 20 Dollar-an-Hour Burger Flipper, Wait’ll You See What the Managers Make

  1. See, I’m washing lettuce. Soon I’ll move to fries, then the grill. A year or two, I’ll make assistant manager – and that’s where the big bucks start rolling in.

  2. This is called pricing yourself out of business. When totalitarian communists collide with free enterprise. The pampered Gov Newsom has never had to actually work for a living. If he ever developed a callous on his hand he’d probably chop the hand off. So he doesn’t understand. Rush use to say minimum wage should be zero. As an employer I can tell you he’s exactly right. If you want more money then get better at what you do. Become more valuable to me.

  3. I wonder how long those manager positions and salaries will last when the restaurants are bankrupt from the $20+/hr minimum wage idjits?

  4. From what little I understand about human behavior (spent 30+ years in Technology) I can only imagine what these managers have to go through on a daily basis. While $174000 might be a bit much, they have to put up with a lot of crap from employees and customers.

  5. DavidW

    Than get a better education or learn a trade. What they go through daily is not criteria for their compensation. The market decides that. Again, free enterprise.

  6. LOL, in ’61 I used to wash pots and pans in a small cafe/bar, it took me about 1½ hours, I was paid a Royal Crown Cola and a free play on the bowling machine….much like a pin ball machine.

    I actually survived it.

  7. I started out as a paperboy… I took the largest route I could get. Made $100 a month back in ’80. The tips were gravy… “You want me to walk it up on Sunday morning and open the screen door and put it inside? Yes Sir! Will do! $$…”

    I made enough that year to buy a VIC-20 in ’81 and find out where the hell the world was going…

    This is a piece of what’s missing these days… A grade school kid has no way of altering his path. He can’t help his family, he can’t help himself…

  8. Kali

    Well I can’t vouch for Canada, I can in my zip. There is a huge organized push to get these kids into trade schools. The Junior colleges and the industry have joined together and have a pretty damn good program going on. Now we need Trump back in office so these young people can actually find jobs. Biden’s absolutely killing manufacturing.

  9. In the early 2000#,my former media company employer instituted an optional comp system for sales reps. Unlimited earnings. Only two – both newbies – took the bait. In year 1 they eared well over $100k each – about double what the others were making. In year 2 they did even better. One made $140k and the second earned nearly $170k. Neither stayed for a 3rd year. Why? Because in year 3 their base pay of $40k was set to the performance levels of the past year. They had to do even better than before just to start to rise over the low base.

  10. All I know is the kids love Raising Canes, over Chik-fil-A.
    I guarantee that the manager making $174k has a smooth-running enterprise and loyal employees who are helping make it that way. The difference amount of work is that she is probably doing less – or at least not getting calls all day and night to deal with emergencies. But she is more focused on helping her staff and keeping the customers happy. That’s how capitalism works – buyers are attracted to good products and service.

  11. When I was a teen I was the night and weekend manager of a HB joint and I made $3/hour. It really wasn’t that hard. Back then you were manager and still flipped burgers and made ice cream, washed dishes, cleaned bathrooms and mopped floors and dealt with customers and employees and made sure the cash register matched up. If being a manager of a fast food joint is so hard then people are a bunch of losers now.

    Raising Canes will soon be bankrupt.

  12. My neighbor paid me a dollar an hour when I was 12 to hang drywall. Of course he had to teach me pretty much everything. When I enlisted in the Air Force I made $344.10 a month plus 3 hots and a cot. I was living large.

  13. In 1972 when I first joined the Navy, we were making $250 a month. Of course, it doubled when I got out 3 years later to $500 a month. I had more money than even with the low pay because the Navy paid for everything, and I was able to save quite bit of money when I got out. When you’re out at sea for extended periods of time where are you spend all that money paid in 20 bills. And everything was cheap in the Philippines because of the almost worthless value of the Filipino peso to the American dollar.

  14. Where are you going to spend all that money in $20 bills. We were paid by check when weren’t out at sea since we could go to the bank. And if you weren’t a dumbass and spent all your money foolishly gambling (there was always a crap game going on somewhere with a black guy named fast Eddy running it) or whoring and getting drunk you could do pretty good. We mostly played card games like Spades or Hearts and rarely poker because poker was forbidden as a sucker game for fools.

  15. A Raising Cane’s chicken restaurant with nearly 100 Employees??? Whaaaat?
    That right there blow my mind!
    I get a mental picture of a large facility with conveyor belts and troughs…

  16. Any of you old farts out there remember KFC’s “Corn and Cluck for Under a Buck” promotion? I remember when A&W would have five hotdogs for a dollar. I made the mistake of having chili dogs, and nearly exploded a few hours later. Yeah, I ate five of them. Also remember going to Alphy’s coffee shop on Nickle Pancake Day. I would order 13 pancakes, a lemon drink (25 cents) and tip the waitress the remaining ten cents from my dollar.

  17. They are not going to go out of business because of the Gms salary. Focusing on the 174K is missing the point. Start with the 85K base. If the restaurant is pulling in 9 million a year, then the 85K is under 1% for the GM.s base. I worked for Pizza Hut nearly 20 years. About 8 of that as a GM. My base was close to 5% of the gross annual receipts. You would have to be able to look at their incentive structure to know if they are skimming the surface of being profitable. Controlling food cost, waste and theft is a big deal in that business. I took over a store in DC that had a Cancel Made % of nearly 4%. I got it down to 1.2%. My bonus on just that metric was $2500 (if I remember correctly) and that was about 40 years ago. Based on this stores volume given the same criteria the GM would bonus about 18 times that ($45,000).

    At one point when I was a District Manager in DC I was able to recruit a McDonalds manger to us. She was making 80K and had a company car. This was about 1990 or so. She came to us because to get that salary and perks, she was working 65-70 hours per week. Does not matter how good you are, you have no life when you work like that.

    After Pizza Hut I managed all of the Little Caesars in SE Virginia for 8 years. I did not have any GM that had a base of less than 6% of gross revenues.

  18. @ General Malaise

    At 16, I worked two hours after school and ten on Saturday for $1.25/hr cleaning hog barns for a neighboring farmer. Come summer he told me he couldn’t afford to pay that for full time work. We settled on $50 for 60 hours but I did get fed (very well) and gas was between 15 to 20 cents/gal.

  19. I shoveled snow off walks and driveways for $1.50 per walk. A trace of snow or 3 feet, it all paid the same. I started doing that when I was 10 years old and continued until I went away to college….And dare I say, it was uphill both ways!….

  20. Went to a sit down Thai restaurant with my wife a few days ago.

    $13/ea, fresh ingredients, good service. Cheaper than any MacDonald’s “value” meal. Then there’s the tip, and I’m a good tipper, so it was about the same price as a California MacDonald’s for the 2 of us.

    Whoever still pays for and eats fast food has mental problems.


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