Panera Bread Company Gets Law Exemption


California Governor Gavin Newsom has been caught in yet another scandal as it is revealed that he has granted a “bread exemption” to his new minimum wage hike for fast food workers. The exemption benefits billionaire CEO Greg Flynn, who happens to be a major donor to Newsom’s political campaigns.

In September, Newsom signed into law a measure that would raise the minimum wage of fast food workers from $16 an hour to a whopping $20 an hour. However, this so-called “Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act” conveniently includes an exemption for “chains that bake bread and sell it as a standalone item.”

Who could possibly benefit from such a specific and bizarre exemption? None other than Flynn, who is the CEO of Flynn Restaurant Group, the company that owns two dozen Panera Bread locations in the state of California. Flynn, who has a net worth of $1.1 billion, has donated over $164,000 to Newsom’s political campaigns.

In fact, Newsom and Flynn have a history of business dealings, with Flynn acquiring a Napa Valley resort that was managed by Newsom’s hospitality firm in 2014. It seems that these friendly ties have paid off for Flynn, as he has managed to secure an exemption for his Panera Bread locations from the new minimum wage hike.

While Newsom’s office claims that the exemption was a result of “countless hours of negotiations with dozens of stakeholders,” it is clear that Flynn’s donations played a major role in the decision. This backroom deal is just another example of the corrupt and cronyistic politics that plague California.

But it’s not just the questionable ethics of this exemption that should concern Californians. The bread exemption will have a real impact on consumers, as other fast food chains, such as Chipotle and McDonald’s, have warned that they will have to raise prices to keep up with the increasing labor costs.

It’s absurd that a billionaire like Flynn can benefit from a minimum wage exemption, while other fast-food chains will feel the effects of the wage hike. This just goes to show that Newsom and his cronies are out of touch with the struggles of everyday Californians.

California is already one of the most expensive states to live in, and Newsom’s policies, such as this new minimum wage hike, are only making it worse.

New York Post