Jae Townley says she works hard to support her daughter.
"I know there's a lot of other people that are out there, struggling just as much as I am," she said. "As a single mother working part time on minimum wage, I have to survive by the help of family."
Like Townley, Andrew Lopez feels his work is undervalued.
"Our worth and our work ethics are just a little bit more than what we're getting paid now," he said.
Both Townley and Lopez are part of a growing national movement—minimum wage workers demanding higher pay.
"The cost of living has increased so dramatically that it's just not keeping up," Townley said.
And she's right. Even though the federal minimum wage has risen over the years, the purchasing power of those dollars keeps falling.
The restaurant industry says higher worker pay would hurt business.
"If we were to enact a $15 dollar starting wage within this industry, I would just tell you consumers would suffer because they couldn't afford the products we were offering,” Richie Jackson with the Texas Restaurant Association said. "As an industry, we also have to be very cognitive of our customers demands for value."
But economists disagree.
"When you have a higher minimum wage, you have two effects. One is a pressure on labor costs and the other is the customers have more money,” economist James K. Galbraith said. “Restaurants in general start competing on quality rather than on price, particularly at the lower end, so the quality of what they provide actually improves."
He says higher worker pay would also benefit companies.
"With a higher minimum wage, workers stay on longer, turnover drops,” Galbraith said.
But for many workers, the fight for higher wages is a matter of survival.
"Minimum wage should be raised to a living wage, so that even if you can only work minimum wage jobs, you can still be able to support yourself," Townley said.
A recent study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research shows that 40 percent of fast food workers are 25 or older. One in four fast food workers support at least one child.