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Minimum wage overblown

’Tis a bright new year and once again the cry of the restaurant owner is heard throughout the land. It goes “raise prices, fire workers – raise prices, fire workers” over and over. Why? The minimum wage is going up a horrific 37 cents an hour!

Let’s see. At the level of the coffee shops I and my wife frequent, a waitress serves five to 10 tables. Each table has two to four persons in a party, with an occasional single. Each table turns over about every 40 minutes.

So let’s be conservative. Six tables, two people per party, only one party per hour. That means each waitress serves 12 people an hour and the cost per person of that huge minimum wage increase is – three cents!

OK, we’ve got some support staff. At least a cook or two, plus maybe a dedicated hostess/cashier. Some of them may also be making minimum wage.

We also have to allow for empty tables, although if too many are empty, employees just get sent home.

So let’s double that three cents. We’re now up to six cents. Throw in a fudge factor and call it a dime per patron. Anyone want to bet that any price increases will not exceed that number? No? I didn’t think so.

Larry Blanchard

Spokane Valley


 

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