Woman talking(l+r), McDonald's sign(c)

travelarium.ph/Shutterstock @kaisbubbletea/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘I would have left’: McDonald’s worker says they cut her hours after minimum wage was raised

'We cut our labor in half on the busiest days of the week...because you want to save a couple pennies?'


Braden Bjella


Posted on Feb 6, 2024   Updated on Feb 14, 2024, 12:59 pm CST

A McDonald’s worker on TikTok has sparked discussion after claiming that employee hours were cut after her state’s minimum wage was increased.

In a video with over 71,000 views, TikTok user Kai (@kaisbubbletea) explains the situation, first by saying that the minimum wage in her state recently increased to $15 per hour, which in turn bumped her wage up from $13.50 per hour.

In response to this wage increase, Kai says her store began cutting hours, even at times when they knew the store was likely going to be busy. For example, Kai says that the entire staff was aware that the McDonald’s location would likely be busy with orders on a certain Friday, as that was the day many students in the area returned to campus.

Despite this knowledge, Kai says she was not informed about whether she would be working. Just to be sure, she checked with other employees, who were also told that they would not be working. Kai later decided to stop by the fast-food restaurant to pick up her paycheck, only to be met by a chaotic scene.

“Guess what? We needed people, and it was f*cking insanity today,” she explains. “We weren’t that understaffed since I started working in 2022.”

While Kai notes that staffing issues have been a problem for a while, it only recently got as bad as it is currently.

“We have at least 18 people working when we’re sufficiently staffed. For an overnight for Friday and Saturday, it’s 20 people,” she summarizes later in the video. “We had nine today—nine total, and it was f*cking batsh*t insane.”

Kai then questions whether the wage increase could explain the change in staffing.

“I’m just like, why the f*ck do they cut so many people? Are you [so] that cheap that you don’t want people working because the minimum wage went up by two dollars?” she asks. “This f*cking McDonald’s makes so much overnight off of these college students—literally thousands of dollars—and then they decide to cut the staff in half.”

“We cut our labor in half on the busiest days of the week because why? Because you want to save a couple pennies?” she adds later in the video.

Kai isn’t the first to complain about understaffing in the service industry. One user recently went viral after sharing a rant they gave after being asked to serve 24 tables by themselves—a request that eventually led them to quit. Another user told her own understaffing stories, claiming that a server’s job has broadened in scope as more restaurants have cut staff.


the mcrants are back 🫠 estoy cansada

♬ original sound – Kai

Users in the comments section were quick to share their thoughts.

“My job is doing the same thing and I’m the manager,” detailed a user. “Wages went up and my labor cut 50 hours a week same sales!”

“The fact that the minimum wage at McDonald’s here is 21 an hour while yours is 16 is insane,” added another.

“Yeah same happening in my store ours was raised to 20 and they’re cutting all hours and overworking us,” offered a third.

The Daily Dot reached out to Kai via Instagram direct message.

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*First Published: Feb 6, 2024, 11:00 am CST