When Seattle's City Council voted last year to gradually raise the minimum wage from $9.32 to $15 an hour, many championed the move as a triumph for the worker. Yet for those employed in the restaurant industry, believed to be a quarter of the city's minimum wage earners, the minimum wage hike may have unexpected consequences.
As restaurants have historically low profit margins, this wage hike affects both their own labor costs, as well as through a trickle down effect, their food and supply costs. As these expenses are sure to cut into the already small profit revenue, Seattle's restaurants are now forced to decide between raising menu prices or reducing staff. Many fear that regardless of which, they still will lose customers who will be turned off by the higher pricing or lower service standards.
Can Seattle's 'mom-and-pop' style restaurants survive this wage hike? Read More