WASHINGTON, June 28 (UPI) -- Starting wages at a U.S. restaurant chains can go from minimum wage to 788 times that amount, an Economic Policy Institute study said.
That means the wages most workers make in a year are earned by top company executives in one morning, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.
Full-time work at minimum wage totals $15,080 per year, the Institute said.
On average, restaurant cooks -- and there are about 1 million in the country -- earned $11.20 per hour or $23,300 in the course of a year, Labor Department data show.
At the same company, but in a different building, the chief executive officers at national restaurant chains earned an average of $11,884,000 in 2012, the institute said, including stock options and other perks.
In another measure of the wage gap, the federal minimum wage was last bumped up to $7.25 per hour in 2009. By contrast, Don Thompson, the chief executive officer of McDonald's Corp, in 2012 received a base salary raise of 26 percent to $1.1 million.