In 2013, Governor Jerry Brown and the Legislature compromised on an increase to the state’s minimum wage to $10.00 per hour; however, national labor and employee groups have pressed forward with a comprehensive drive to organize fast food and chain restaurant workers and drive for a $15.00/hour wage. This attack would not only do serious damage to restaurants’ profitability, but the effort was conducted in a manner that was damaging the reputation of restaurants as good employers. FSB Core Strategies major portion of this push by unions was targeted toward major metropolitan areas in California.

FSB Core Strategies was retained by the California Restaurant Association to conduct a comprehensive opinion research effort to understand evolving public perception of these issues and the impact they were having on restaurants’ positive brand. The research was also geared toward creating new messaging for restaurants – important employers who create job opportunities – to rehabilitate their image.

FSBCS has recently delivered the results of this research to the California Restaurant Association. Included were recommendations for a pilot communications and public affairs project in a test market to see if public opinion on this issue can be moved under the proposed new messaging strategy. The CRA has adopted the new messaging strategy and is raising funds from members to launch the new communications effort.