Fast Food Business Owners and Employees Are in a Mutual Relationship

A recent Chick-fil-A decision demonstrates that business owners are not opposed to their employees.

The basic stance in the media and in politics has been that fast food business owners are the enemies and exploiters of their employees. Just like telling one lie demands a person make up other lies, so this myth creates others. If fast food business owners are exploiting their workers, this means that a free society is a place where mutually agreed upon payments are detrimental to one class of people. No one should be permitted to agree to a wage unless the government first permits him to work for such a wage.

The key to justice is thus found in the oversight of government. People can’t be trusted to make their own decisions. They have to be forced to submit to the demands set by politicians. The politicians set terms that will appeal to the most people in order to win the popularity contest that puts them in power.

There should be no need to demonstrate how false these views are, but one story from Austin, Texas, demonstrates how twisted this world view really is. KVUE reports, “Chick-fil-A owner paid employees’ salaries during remodeling.”

Northwest Austin residents can finally get their Chick-fil-A fix again; the West Braker Lane and U.S. 183 location reopened Wednesday after a five-month remodel.

The franchise owner said it needed to grow with Austin’s population – the new building is double the size of the original and now has a third drive-thru lane.

Jeff Glover, who has operated the restaurant for 15 years, continued to pay his 50 employees during the remodel.

“I thought to myself, ‘I don’t want my group to have to forgo their salaries,'” he said. As an extra incentive, Glover gave all of his employees a $1 per hour raise.

Norma Baynes, one of the managers at the restaurant, said this type of generosity usually doesn’t happen in today’s business climate.

“I’ve been here for over a decade and I can’t put into words how much this means,” she said.

Baynes thinks the fast food business owner is showing “generosity,” but this does not imply that Glover is expecting no reward for his efforts. He is keeping a group of employees who he knows he wants to keep and who have knowledge of his business. He knows they keep him profitable and he wants to do what he can to keep them happy.

[See also, “Johns Hopkins Students: Chick-fil-A Is a Micro-Aggression.”]

So let me ask you this question: Should it be illegal to lay off employees when you want to expand and need to temporarily close your business. I suppose liberals will use this story to justify making such a law. But that would be not only tyrannical but stupid. Many fast food business owners would go bankrupt if they tried to expand under such a requirement. The result would be that businesses would refuse to expand. This would mean fewer new job opportunities.

This story shows that fast food business owners already have an incentive to do good things for their employees. The government is not required to force business owners to act “generously.”

On the other hand, what if the government forces all businesses to pay employees more than they need to in order to win over the services of those employees? In such cases, suddenly business owners find they are bound to an unnecessary expense that cuts into their revenues. Under such pressure, employers won’t be able to save and come up with benefits they can give their employees. This will not only be a financial reality but it will also affect their attitudes. A business owner will be far less likely to value an employee if he is constantly forced to reduce his profits to pay him or her more than the market requires.

The more the government inserts itself into the relationship, the more the employers and employees will feel and act like they are opposed to one another.