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A Popular Burger Chain Has Been Quietly Raising Menu Prices 'Incrementally' Amid Minimum Wage Hike California-based In-N-Out is one of the most loved burger brands in the country.

By Emily Rella Edited by Melissa Malamut

Key Takeaways

  • Burger chain In-N-Out confirmed that it has been incrementally raising menu prices in California after the state's new minimum wage law for fast-food employees went into effect on April 1.
  • Fast-food employees who fit the law's criteria must be paid a minimum $20 per hour.
  • The minimum wage across the state in other fields is $16.

One of the West Coast's most coveted fast-food chains has been quietly raising prices in California thanks to a minimum wage hike — and most customers hadn't even noticed.

In-N-Out confirmed in a statement to local outlet KTVU this week that the burger chain has incrementally raised prices across the state in what the company says is an effort to offset the new costs associated with minimum wage pay.

"On April 1st, we raised our prices incrementally to accompany a pay raise for all of the Associates working in our California restaurants. The price increase was also necessary to maintain our quality standards," a spokesperson for the company told the outlet.

Related: In-N-Out Burger Is Opening New Locations Outside of California — Here's Where It's Going Next

April 1st was also the day that California's new minimum wage law for fast-food workers went into effect which mandates employees in the industry must be paid at least $20 per hour.

There are stipulations to the law which mean that for a fast-food chain to need to enact it, there must be 60 or more restaurants (all of which are without table servers) in the chain and that customers must pay for their food in advance.

According to Indeed, the average In-N-Out retail sales associate is paid $20.66 hourly and the average cashier is paid $17.30 per hour.

The overall minimum wage in California is currently $16 per hour.

Related: A Major Burger King Franchisee in California Says He Can't Roll Out Order Kiosks Fast Enough Due to the State's New $20 Fast-Food Minimum Wage

"Offering the highest wages in the industry is one way we attract the best people to care for our customers," In-N-Out President Lynsi Snyder wrote in her book The Ins-N-Outs of In-N-Out Burger: The Inside Story of California's First Drive-Through and How it Became a Beloved Cultural Icon, which was released last year. "We pay well."

Though prices vary across locations, local outlet KTLA reported that a Double-Double combo at In-N-Out locations in Los Angeles County now costs $11.44, a $0.76 increase from last year.

The burger chain, which celebrated its 75th anniversary last fall, announced in November that it would expand beyond its current seven states (California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Texas, Oregon, and Colorado) and open restaurants in New Mexico and Tennessee.

Related: In-N-Out Owner Lynsi Snyder: 'We Pay Well,' Managers $180K

The price hikes at In-N-Out come when the fast-food industry is under scrutiny after consumers noticed menu prices increasing across the country.

Chains like McDonald's and Wendy's have added value meal options in recent months to lure back loyal customers.

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

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