Morning JAVA: $18 Hamburgers!

Morning JAVA: $18 Hamburgers!

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This Big Mac Costs How Much?


I've got my coffee ready for another juicy post, this time about the high flying cost of hamburgers. Like most omnivores, I enjoy a good hamburger once in a while. I consider it a healthy meal, without the (fake) cheese and bacon. My hamburger is usually loaded up with lettuce, tomato, onions and pickles for a nice mix of meat and veggies in one meal.

Lately though, I can't help but notice that this fast food icon is getting more and more expensive and after watching a video on Youtube last night, it turns out I'm not the only one who's taking notice. Youtuber Michael Bordenaro who has 138K subscribers published a video 8 days ago titled, 'More Price Increases! The end of fast food is here'. While he usually talks about real estate, this time he brings up an instance when he recently went into a McDonald's in California and he was charged $18 for a Big Mac!

Now, there's a reason why fast food prices are skyrocketing in Cali. Bordenaro points out that the California State Government recently up the minimum wage for fast food workers to $20 per hour. Of course, this will drive prices way up. Know what else it's doing? It's sending most of these fast food workers to the employment line. Now, we have self-help kiosks and that hamburger will still cost you $18.

Bordenaro also points out that regular restaurants are exempt and can pay lower wages. This allows them to sell a hamburger for cheaper, hence the title of his video suggesting the end of 'fast food'.

Growing up, I always knew that fast food joints were good stepping stones to work our way up the ladder and learn new skills. That's why it paid less because this type of job requires very little skill . It was a great part time job to have while in high school or college because it was easy to get hired. Even seniors, looking to make extra cash have discovered the benefits of working in a fast food joint.

Fast food is supposed to be cheap, not expensive. Hasn't it always been? Well, in the last few years, that's just not the case anymore. I got a big shock last December when I went into a local A&W and ordered two Mama burgers, which are nothing fancy. The bill, with sales taxes of course, came up to $28 and change (Can you believe it?). I live in the Province of Ontario in Canada. Ontario and California are very close to being on par as far as rising costs of hamburgers. This order did NOT include fries or soda pops. 

A hamburger is a decent meal as I've already mentioned but when you include (fake) cheese and bacon, vegetable oil drenched fries and massive sugar infused soda pop, it is no longer a healthy meal. They make it so that fries and pop are dirt cheap so you'll buy it. Heck, supersize it for just 50 cents more. I now avoid these two items at all costs because I've become aware of their poison attributes. 70% of Americans are overweight. You can say the issue is an issue here in Canada as well. There's nothing happy about 'Happy Meals' when you realize you're 100 pounds overweight.

I'm on my second cup of coffee and I have lots of energy to write so I'd like to add a little extra regarding fake cheeses. That slice of cheese has a lot of non-cheese ingredients adding to as much as 40%, including god awful vegetable oils. Parmesan is straight up fake while that mozzarella on your pizza has similar 'fillers' as that slice of cheddar cheese. As for soda pops, depending on which one you order, there can be as many as 11 teaspoons of sugar in that medium sized cup. If you're wondering why you have diabetes...

As hamburger prices shoot upward, I expect more people to nickle and dime and skip the cheese and bacon along with the fries and pop. Eventually, people will skip hamburgers altogether as they become too expensive, which is what we're starting to see. Bordenaro postulates the end of fast food. Is that a bad thing? It's an open secret these joints, while convenient for a quick fill, have done an excellent job to fatten the populace which then of course eventually leads to all sorts of chronic ailments over time.

Would it be such a bad thing to see these corporations that have raked in billions over the last 70 years or so, at enormous cost to our health, go down as we are starting to witness? Before fast food joints lined up our streets, we had Mom & Pop restaurants, usually run by family members that worked hard to provide a decent, healthy meal. Are we to see their return over the next few years???

There have been several chains that have gone bankrupt already. See this article from December, 2022. Some on their list include Chuck E. Cheese's, Blue Star Coffee and Pioneer Chicken. Even the mighty Burger King closed 400 stores in 2023.

Then again, when I drive down a main strip in my town, there are at least a dozen fast food / hamburger joints on this one street, if not more. Drive a mile or two down another street and there's another 3 or 4 joints. My hometown is saturated with fast food joints, absolutely saturated! In fact, a new Burger King opened up about 2 years ago now, right beside McDonald's! Ironic that they closed so many stores just a year later. There's a Crabby Joe's right around the corner and across the street from them is a Harvey's hamburger joint.

I have a feeling they're all in big trouble. As prices go up, so do their associated sales taxes. It's brutal in Ontario. We pay 13% combined provincial and federal sales taxes. It's like the powers that be are doing everything they can to crash our economies OR they haven't got a clue what they're doing OR BOTH!

I don't know how much longer I'll be able to continue affording a simple hamburger from any of these fast food joints. It's not like I miss them anyways.

Peace and love to everyone.


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Name's Joe and I live in Ontario, Canada. I like writing on a wide variety of topics. I enjoy keeping track of markets, investing and commodities and the crypto sector. Also do some coding for web browsers.

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