In a survey of 1,000 restaurant-goers, Technomic found 83 percent support increasing the minimum wage and adjusting it annually for inflation.
The research firm's study found widespread backing across age groups and political orientations, with 93 percent support among self-described liberals, 87 percent among moderates, and 70 percent among conservatives.
Supporters of a higher minimum wage believe it will stimulate the economy, lift people out of poverty, help the middle class, decrease labor turnover, and reduce government spending. Further, 44 percent of those surveyed think a minimum wage hike will have a positive impact on the restaurant business.
"Consumers clearly believe the economic benefits of a minimum wage increase far outweigh the negatives," says Bob Goldin, executive vice president of Technomic. "Restaurants and other industries have to recognize the consumer groundswell that exists with respect to this matter and, in many cases, be prepared for increased labor costs."
On a somewhat related note, the same Technomic survey revealed fairly widespread opposition to a restaurant company such as Burger King moving its headquarters to another country: 59 percent claim such a move would negatively influence their perception of the company. "Our research shows that any restaurant company considering a tax inversion runs the risk of strong consumer backlash," Goldin says.