As fast-food workers across the country are on strike Thursday, one restaurant CEO says he sees the value in paying workers a little more money.

Boloco CEO John Pepper, who oversees a chain of 22 burrito shops, tells FBN’s Stuart Varney that he pays entry-level workers between $9.50 and $11 an hour.

While Pepper agrees that restaurants have traditionally made money by keeping labor costs down, he says paying employees more than the current minimum wage pays off in a more productive staff and attracts talented workers who can inspire loyalty in customers.

“It’s a lot easier to keep wages down than it is to find better practices, bolder practices, more efficient practices, which come through training,” says Pepper. “We’re constantly looking for practices and ways to bring wages up.”

For Pepper, paying his staff a good wage is in line with Boloco’s values.

“We use the highest quality ingredients available -- responsibly raised meats, organics – and we’re willing to pay more for that and for the humane treatment of animals,” says Pepper.

“When we increase our prices because of that … customers say OK. But what about the people – what about paying for high-quality people?” he asks. “We’re trying to work that into the balance.”

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