Kaboom chicken Instagram

Backlash after Toronto restaurant blames price hike on minimum wage

Kaboom Chicken's Instagram comments have blown up over the suggestion that Ontario premiere Kathleen Wynne is to blame for its higher fried chicken prices.

"Sorry guys, Starting tomorrow we will need to raise the prices on our menu," wrote the Riverside restaurant earlier this week on social media. "This is due to the 20% minimal [sic] wage increase coming in Jan."

The photo shared with that Instagram post shows a sign that reads "Sorry price increase in effect =( Please blame K. Wynne."

The Korean fried chicken joint's owners argue that, while fair wage is a positive thing, it "needs to be fair at a gradual rate."

This is in reference to the recently-passed Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, which will see minimum wage in Ontario rise to $15 an hour by 2019. The process starts by raising the rate from $11.60 to $14 in just a few weeks, on January 1, 2018.

"[Wynne] doesn't care that the restaurant industry already operates on very slim margins due to the raising cost of food, high rent, killer property taxes, employees wages & other factors," reads part of the restaurant's photo caption.

"Please note K. WYNNE & the provincial Liberal party is just trying to cover up all their scandals & this is their last play to get re-elected."

Some people commenting on Kaboom's Instagram post are saying that money is no object - their fried chicken is that good and will still be worth every penny.

"I somehow feel like throwing a tantrum is kind of a bad way to deal with a wage increase," wrote one of the first commenters on the post. "Not to mention that it’s pretty unprofessional."

"You should be ashamed to complain about paying your employees a living wage," wrote another. "The minimum wage increase will help some of them avoid living from one pay cheque to the next and even helps increase your customer base... Shame on you."

Dozens more criticized the company for its "public whining" and "tantrum."

"Wow. I am so embarrassed for you," wrote one commenter. "And your employees who are watching you throw a tantrum about paying them a living wage. Way to make them feel valued."

The whole thread is tense, with Kaboom jumping in to defend itself against what it calls "trolls" several times.

Some customers are now even vowing to pull their business from the store, despite loving the food – and that's a pretty big sacrifice, given that the restaurant just added korean fried chicken cones to its winter menu.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez


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