Moo Cluck Moo: Fast Food Employees Start At $15 Per Hour

Moo Cluck Moo, the Detroit area fast food restaurant that has made national news since it opened in April of 2013 by paying a starting wage of $12 an hour, increased the wage to $15 an hour.

Crain’s Detroit Business reported employes at Moo Cluck Moo make $15 an hour or about $31,000 per year. In comparison, a new Detroit police officer starts of at about $30,000. A new teacher in Detroit starts around $38,000. A cub reporter at a daily newspaper averages about $28,000 a year. The wage increase began in October.

Employee Lindsay Senia, 23, says she is able to pay her tuition out-of-pocket instead of taking out student loads.

Jennifer Aguilar said “I love what I do every day, I can do things for my children that I couldn’t do as a kid,” like sending her son to Boy Scout camp and her daughter to cheerleading camp.

Moo Cluck Moo co-owners Brian Parker and Harry Moorhouse explained their philosophy of paying their employees over double the minimum wage as written in The Daily Beast.

First they believe the employees deserve it. Working at a quick-service restaurant is a difficult, demanding job. People have to multi-task. They’re coping with long lines and expectations of rapid service. These are the people who take care of the customers, and this is a competitive business in which customer service matters a great deal. “It’s not an easy job to do,” said Parker. “We’ve got a line out the door.”

Parker believes higher wages lead to better results. “We’ve had very low turnover. Of the people working for us, we don’t have anybody disgruntled. If I have to babysit these people, I’m a high priced baby-sitter.”

Parker said an average shift requires four employees and the restaurant is open 10 hours a day. The restaurant is spending $60 an hour on labor. That’s $18,000 a month in labor costs. Parker says labor makes up about 40 percent of expenditures, while food costs are 30 percent.

“I’m taking less money personally,” he said. “My question is, how much do we have to make? How big of a pile of money do CEO’s have to sit on?”

The prices of the food at Moo Cluck Moo, which sells burgers and chicken, are similar to McDonald’s and Burger King. The basic burger called the Moo Burger is $3.25 while the Bigger Moo (twice the size) is $5.65.

The average national price of a Big Mac at McDonald’s is about $3.57, while a Whopper at Burger King is around $3.49.

Moo Cluck Moo currently has two locations, in Dearborn Heights and Canton, and plan to open more.

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