A 5 Forces Happy Meal

Fast food workers all over the U.S. are striking in hopes of doubling the minimum wage (from $7.25 to $15 per hour). However, a a recent AP news story states: “No group along the food chain, from the customers to the companies, wants to foot the bill for higher wages for workers.” The tactic is a classic move to change the structure of the 5 forces to grant more bargaining power to the workers. However, overwhelmingly, these workers are not unionized so the prospects of sustaining a prolonged, organized strike are quite limited. Furthermore, there are many unemployed workers who might step into their jobs if given the opportunity. All of this suggests that the structure of the industry will hinder their attempt to garner bargaining power. This seems like a good “ripped from the headlines” case to discuss with students to drive home the application of 5 forces analysis.

Contributed by Russ Coff

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