UpFront: Culver’s CEO suggests multi-tiered minimum wage system

Culver’s CEO Craig Culver says a multi-tiered wage system, like the one his company’s rolling out in nine corporate locations, is a “great compromise” in the debate over raising minimum wage.

Under Culver’s three-tiered system, 14- and 15 year-olds make minimum wage, with bump of a dollar per hour at ages 16 and 17. Culver said on Sunday’s “UpFront with Mike Gousha” most adults at the corporate locations make around $10 an hour.

“My Republican friends might not be real happy with me,” said Culver. “Honestly, the feedback I’ve gotten back from that show has been very, very positive.”

After watching some of his employees advance from teenaged workers to Culver’s franchisees, Culver said he believes his industry is provides workers with opportunities for growth. He said encouragement and mentoring are as important as compensation.

“It’s about leaders leading their people and developing their people along the way,” said Culver. “I’m pretty proud … I believe we’ve done a nice job of that.”

Although he said changes to the minimum wage won’t change the way his company does business, Culver expressed an interest in allowing the free market to determine wages.

“I don’t think there should even be a minimum wage,” he said. “I believe good companies will take care of their people, and they’ll prosper; I think poorer companies won’t take care of their people, and they’ll end up going out of business.”

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