Fast Food Restaurants Deliver Bad News to Restaurants Ahead of New Minimum Wage Laws

California's fast-food spots are bracing for a hit as the new $20 minimum wage law looms. Some eateries, especially pizza joints, are cutting staff in anticipation. Michael Ojeda, a Pizza Hut driver, saw his nearly decade-long career vanish with little notice.

Last year, various Pizza Hut franchises in California ceased delivery services, axing many driver positions. Southern California Pizza Co. laid off around 841 drivers across multiple counties in December.

Pizza Hut assures delivery will remain available through its app and other channels despite staffing changes. Round Table Pizza and Excalibur Pizza LLC are also shedding delivery jobs, transferring services to third parties.

FAT Brands, Round Table's parent company, views the layoffs as a job transfer amidst rising operating costs. They anticipate a boost in third-party delivery services, though customer costs may rise.

Brian Hom, a Vitality Bowls owner, copes with labor shortages by running stores with fewer employees, leading to longer waits and higher prices for customers.

The $20 wage law affects fast-food chains with 60 or more locations nationwide, impacting workers beyond entry-level teenagers.

Assembly Republican leader James Gallagher criticizes the mandate, warning of job losses amid already high unemployment rates.

Certain chains, like those baking bread on-site for standalone sales, are exempt. Panera Bread was initially exempt until allegations of political favoritism surfaced.

Governor Gavin Newsom denies favoring Panera due to donations, insisting they must comply with the law despite earlier exemptions.