If groups fighting for a $15-an-hour wage at fast food restaurants succeed, customers would soon be hearing a computer voice asking, "Do you want fries with that?" says Herman Cain.
Cain, the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza and the National Restaurant Association,
told Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto"
Thursday that franchise owners want to stay in business, so if expenses go up in one area, they'll have to trim somewhere else. They'll likely hire fewer people and invest in automation.
Protests were held outside fast food establishments across the country on Thursday, the latest of several such actions that have occurred over the past several weeks.
McDonald's employee Ricky Padin told Fox News, "They make billions of dollars a year, and they can afford it."
That's not quite true, Cain said. Individual restaurants are owned as franchises and are treated as small businesses. The franchise owners don't see the billions in company profits trickle down to them.
Those franchise owners aren't trying to pay minimum wage because they are cheap, Cain said, they are trying to stay in business.
The National Restaurant Association says only five percent of employees make minimum wage. Most who start out at federal minimum wage and work hard see their pay increased within six months, Cain said.
Cain said he believes most of the protesters are "union plants" and not employees.
"My experience with minimum wage workers, having led the National Restaurant Association, is that most of them appreciate those jobs," Cain said. "And here's why: They are not minimum wage jobs, they are starting jobs."
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