For years, restaurant owners have argued that a higher minimum wage means pricier meals.Now some restaurants in states that recently raised the minimum wage — including Arizona, California, and Colorado — are putting the proof in customers’ checks.
Surcharges of 3% to 4% to pay for higher labor costs are “the emerging new norm,” a spokeswoman for the California Restaurant Association told The Wall Street Journal.
Restaurateurs say they’re adding the surcharge because the alternative of increasing the prices of individual menu items can cause customers to pick a less expensive option or simply ditch the restaurant altogether.
The surcharge also allows restaurants that opposed minimum-wage increases to highlight the consequences.”
We want people to understand there is a cost,” David Cohn, the owner of 15 restaurants in San Diego, told The Journal. “How do we stay in business with margins shrinking and competition increasing?”
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