Dairy Queen CEO: Paying Workers A ‘Fair Wage’ Helps Us


For the second time this week, a CEO of a major fast food company came out in support of raising the minimum wage. Dairy Queen’s CEO John Gainor made a simple case for why Congress should raise the minimum wage from $7.25, in an interview CNN aired on Thursday: “It takes a lot of time to train people,” he said. “You want to make sure you’re paying a very good wage, otherwise you have a lot of turnover.”

“People need to be paid a fair wage,” Gainor said.

Dariy Queen has 4,800 locations, and the company did not have data on what the average hourly worker makes. But Huffington Post notes that wages reported on Glassdoor average $8 per hour. Noting that Dairy Queen hires “a lot of teenage and part-time employees,” Gainor estimated many people must be earning the bare minimum at the chain’s franchisees.


Subway CEO Fred DeLuca also announced Wednesday he’s “not concerned” about a proposed minimum wage hike. “Over the years, I’ve seen so many of these wage increases. I think it’s normal. It won’t have a negative impact hopefully, and that’s what I tell my workers.” Even though DeLuca acknowledged raises should be “normal,” the federal minimum wage hasn’t kept pace with inflation, increasing only slightly in 2008. Subway and Dairy Queen aren’t the only new supporters of a wage hike: former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney joined the chorus on Thursday.

Not only would a $10.10 minimum wage lift 4.6 million people out of poverty, but the chains that have tried it have benefited, too. Shake Shack has noted that a $10.70 wage helps the company to retain more of their employees, reducing turnover and growing them into managers.