Industry Insiders Weigh in on Proposed Minimum Wage Hike as Restaurant Brands Stay Mum (Part II)
Continued from Part I
Zackfia’s projections also take into account a $.50 increase in minimum wage for tipped service, which was not called for in Obama’s proposal.
NRN also reports that advocates have not begun to lobby against the hike because it’s not reached the legislative phase, but the proposal represents another challenge to industry profitability.
The National Restaurant Association (NRA) issued a Minimum Wage Fact Sheet to its members containing the strong statement, “a mandatory wage hike is not the way to help working Americans,” as “strong economic evidence suggests that increasing the minimum wage results in fewer jobs being created.”
The NRA told NRN that a Wage Task Force has been preparing for this eventuality, and is set to convene a coalition of more than 80 trade associations to lobby against raising the minimum wage.
In a March 15 panel, restaurateurs addressed the Senate in objection to the hike. Mel Sickler, a multiunit franchisee of the Auntie Anne’s Pretzels and Cinnabon brands told the panel a proposed increase “could force operators to reduce employee hours, postpone plans for new hiring and expansion, and reduce the number of restaurant employees.”
The NRA details some data on nationwide minimum wage, including: “Most employees in the restaurant industry earn in excess of the minimum wage. Just 5 percent of restaurant employees earn the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. Eighty percent of those who earn the starting wage in restaurants work part-time; 70 percent are under age 25; and 46 percent are teenagers.”
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