The demonstrators coming from mega-chains like McDonald's and KFC are also seeking the right to form unions without retaliation, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.
Advocacy group Fast Forward said quick service employees in New York City earn only a quarter of the money they need for survival if they receive the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.
Fast Forward and other advocacy groups organized walkouts in New York, Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, Milwaukee, Kansas City, Mo. and Flint, Mich.
More than 100 fast food workers gathered at Union Square in Manhattan Monday afternoon chanting "Hold the burgers, hold the fries, make our wages supersize," The Guardian of Britain reported.
Derrick Langley, 27, who works at KFC in midtown Manhattan, said living on minimum wage in one of the world's most expensive cities is "rough."