Economic Snapshot | Wages, Incomes, and Wealth

Top Restaurant Industry CEOs Made 721 Times More than Minimum-Wage Workers in 2013

Fast food workers have been demonstrating and striking around the country, and some have been fired or arrested as they protested their low wages. The current minimum wage is $15,080 if earned full-time, while the average pay of top restaurant CEOs in 2013 was $10,872,390—721 times more than minimum-wage workers. These corporate CEOs earn more on the first morning of the year than a minimum-wage worker will earn over the course of a full year.

The trade association that represents these CEOs, the National Restaurant Association, has vehemently opposed any increase in the minimum wage.  But as the figure makes clear, since 2007, when Congress passed the last minimum wage increase, restaurant CEO pay has increased so fast that the ratio of CEO pay to the minimum rose from 609-to-1 to 721-to-1.

For a broader context, this recent EPI analysis examines overall CEO compensation relative to average worker pay in the United States.


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See more work by Alyssa Davis, Lawrence Mishel, and Ross Eisenbrey