More Seattle restaurants close doors as $15 minimum wage approaches


B00Mer
#1
More Seattle restaurants close doors as $15 minimum wage approaches



Seattle’s $15 minimum wage law goes into effect on April 1, 2015. As that date approaches, restaurants across the city are making the financial decision to close shop. The Washington Policy Center writes that “closings have occurred across the city, from Grub in the upscale Queen Anne Hill neighborhood, to Little Uncle in gritty Pioneer Square, to the Boat Street Cafe on Western Avenue near the waterfront.”

Of course, restaurants close for a variety of reasons. But, according to Seattle Magazine, the “impending minimum wage hike to $15 per hour” is playing a “major factor.” That’s not surprising, considering “about 36% of restaurant earnings go to paying labor costs.” Seattle Magazine,

“Washington Restaurant Association’s Anthony Anton puts it this way: “It’s not a political problem; it’s a math problem.”

“He estimates that a common budget breakdown among sustaining Seattle restaurants so far has been the following: 36 percent of funds are devoted to labor, 30 percent to food costs and 30 percent go to everything else (all other operational costs). The remaining 4 percent has been the profit margin, and as a result, in a $700,000 restaurant, he estimates that the average restauranteur in Seattle has been making $28,000 a year.

“With the minimum wage spike, however, he says that if restaurant owners made no changes, the labor cost in quick service restaurants would rise to 42 percent and in full service restaurants to 47 percent.”

Restaurant owners, expecting to operate on thinner margins, have tried to adapt in several ways including “higher menu prices, cheaper, lower-quality ingredients, reduced opening times, and cutting work hours and firing workers,” according to The Seattle Times and Seattle Eater magazine. As the Washington Policy Center points out, when these strategies are not enough, businesses close, “workers lose their jobs and the neighborhood loses a prized amenity.”

A spokesman for the Washington Restaurant Association told the Washington Policy Center, “Every [restaurant] operator I’m talking to is in panic mode, trying to figure out what the new world will look like… Seattle is the first city in this thing and everyone’s watching, asking how is this going to change?” The Washington Policy Center,

“Seattle is rightly famous for great neighborhood restaurants. That won’t change. What will change is that fewer people will be able to afford to dine out, and as a result there will be fewer great restaurants to enjoy. People probably won’t notice when some restaurant workers lose their jobs, but as prices rise and some neighborhood businesses close, the quality of life in urban Seattle will become a little bit poorer.”

source: https://shiftwa.org/more-seattle-res...ge-approaches/
 
damngrumpy
+2
#2
The whole thing is pure nonsense most of them probably were not that good a place
to eat at
My question is why do we begrudge an employee a minimum wage when we condone
so many offensive things in the workforce?
Multimillion dollar bonuses to the top rung
Million in severance even if they screwed up the company
Outrageous wages for those in high places.

Oh I know its their right to make a lot of money but here is something to think about.

We complain about someone making fifteen dollars an hour as it will raise the price of
a burger by a buck or two.

Then figure this we pay out huge fees for accountants, for merchandise on store shelves
for auto parts for gasoline, for investment advisers and for sport gear cause someone
makes millions endorsing it.

I would think we would be ticked at the people ripping us off more than someone making
a wage that allwos them to afford buying one of the burgers they are serving.

If we clamped down on the excess at the top we wouldn't need to pay additional minimum
wages down the ladder

Oh and I do hire people from time to time and would never consider paying a lousy minimum
wage.

 
Ludlow
#3
Hey we want s**t to trickle down but just a little fifteen bucks an hour that's outrageous.

Pass out these paddle balls in lieu of pay~ Mel Brooks in blazing saddles.
 
petros
+1
#4
$15 AND a tips?
 
gerryh
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

$15 AND a tips?


nope, no tip. Not if they are making 15 an hour.
 
B00Mer
+1
#6
Low wage jobs are already moving overseas to China.

Fast food jobs are going to be replaced by automated machines...



It really sad, more low wage jobs are being replaced by automation at a time when unemployment is very high for some.
 
EagleSmack
+1
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by damngrumpy View Post

The whole thing is pure nonsense most of them probably were not that good a place
to eat at



Yeah that must be it DG. Don't let reality and economics get in the way of your silliness.

Quote: Originally Posted by B00Mer View Post

Low wage jobs are already moving overseas to China.

Fast food jobs are going to be replaced by automated machines...



It really sad, more low wage jobs are being replaced by automation at a time when unemployment is very high for some.


I've seen these in a couple of restaurants. The waitress just brings you the food.
 
gore0bsessed
#8
Is $15 an hr even a livable wage?
 
petros
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by gore0bsessed View Post

Is $15 an hr even a livable wage?

Yup. In Canada that is almost $1700 a month net.
 
B00Mer
+1
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmack View Post

I've seen these in a couple of restaurants. The waitress just brings you the food.

Canada has lost most of it's manufacturing jobs to China and Mexico, it's become a resource based economy truly.

Now that the Oil prices have taken a dive, Canada's is just left with service industries.

So if Muclair get's his wet dream of $15/hr wages in Canada, I'm guessing unemployment will skyrocket as automation comes in to replace the "uneducated" staff.

Bet your the "Smart Restaurant" machines are made in China.





Give'em the $15/hr and fire 2/3 of your staff.. adios
 
Serryah
+2
#11
Every time this is talked about the whole point of "minimum wage jobs aren't meant to be lived on" and "it's meant to be a starter for kids" usually pops up. Maybe that was true years ago but it's not true now. For various reasons, people ARE having to live on minimum wages. Whether it's kids to get job experience, single moms/dads doing whatever work they can find because they lost their previous jobs and McD's is all that they can get right now, or they're students going to or just out of University and suddenly the years spent to try and learn for a better job didn't pan out because things changed during their school or they just picked the wrong classes.

It may not supposed to be happening, it is, and people canNOT live on a low minimum wage.

That said, there does have to be a balance between the money to live and the money to pay the workers. If the company can afford to pay up to fifteen, then yeah they should depending on what that business is (fifteen to work at a fast food place like McD's IS a little much, but a middle to high end restaurant? Take out the stupid idea that tips are an automatic and instead a sort of 'bonus' and pay servers and other staff decently). If they can't take such a hit to their overcall costs then concessions should be made to adjust the wage to something where the jobs are kept but employees are still being paid at least something to live on.

Fifteen an hour helps no one if the jobs vanish because of it. That said what's the point in paying so low that people can't live and therefore can't work because they can't live?

Another thing is maybe encourage people who do want to do their own businesses to actually research the area where they want to have their business at. What's the point of having a half dozen restaurants of similar type in one area? You're just dividing the consumer/customer base so no real profits are made. Either pick another area or pick another kind of business. And owners need to start working more to get the people to their places. Advertise, make your name known, if you make food make it well, give new contacts a break, cut delivery costs if the customer lives in the same area as you, meet in person more. Do more footwork.

A friend of mine has a girlfriend in Ohio; during the recession she actually was hired by a print shop AND they managed not only to fulfill the orders sent to them but because of the boss and how he ran his place, they're looking at expanding and hiring more people. He's gotten accounts from a lot of big places because not only for the work he does, but HOW he helps the customers. By delivering in person he cuts costs of delivery. While other print houses were going under he was getting orders because he went out to the people instead of waiting for the business to come to him. Yeah his workers may work long hours and a lot of days, but they're paid well, AND they have health coverage AND overtime pay and other small perks thanks to the guy's business ethic. Not a lot of people want to do the work anymore, they just want to make the business and think it'll run itself after that.

So it's not just the wage that matters, its the business too.
 
DaSleeper
+7
#12  Top Rated Post
Quote: Originally Posted by gore0bsessed View Post

Is $15 an hr even a livable wage?

You probably don't know, not having worked in your life.....
 
Serryah
+1
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by B00Mer View Post

Canada has lost most of it's manufacturing jobs to China and Mexico, it's become a resource based economy truly.

This is the BIGGEST thing that has to change. Stop the shipping of jobs and so much else overseas. Start producing things here. Tax imported stuff more and if a company is Canadian but gets its stuff done overseas, tax those business' extra hard to make up for the loss of work to Canadians. Give companies who stay tax breaks and other incentives to actually stay and hire Canadian workers. Bring in aprenticship programs more, allow people to learn on the job again and not have to have 'work related' experience before they can get a job. Companies need to do more for their employees so the idea of 'company loyalty' actually comes back, so people are proud to work where they work, instead of just going to make the money then go home asap.
 
petros
#14
Sorry kids but we are a consumer based economy.
 
Ludlow
+2
#15
I'm reminded of a little convenience store out in a small town in southern Missouri. I'd usually stop there for gas on my way to the grocery store when I lived out there. There was an elderly man behind the counter. More than likely he was old enough to retire and be on social security which he may have been. He certainly should have been on disability because he only had one arm. I just kinda watched him trying to work the register and do his job when I was in there. I've seen many disabled people, some elderly , working these low pay jobs trying to get by. I'm sure many of them needed extra money for medicine and other things which others don't think about. Maybe that's why they decide to work these minimum wage jobs. Some possibly counted on them as their only source of income. Fifteen bucks an hour. Considering the cost of things in a society that has absolutely no check on their appetites whatsoever, that paltry wage isn't much. Especially with the high cost of medicines these days. Yes I know,,,,bleeding heart sentiment. Id raise it to 20 bucks an hour.
 
damngrumpy
+4
#16
Fifteen dollars an hour is not unreasonable. What is unreasonable is the
bloated payments made to those at the top of chain. For example the guy
who screwed Target up completely is rewarded with over sixty million in
severance for the mess he made. Target ends up being routed from this
country completely and they have liquidators selling off even the shelves.
Add to that there is then seventy million to distribute among more than
seventeen thousand employees. That was just one person who got the big
payday never mind the others.
We are really paying for the excess at the top not the average worker.
The big corporations whine constantly they are paying too much when in fact
they are not paying their share. It is easier to point the finger at low wage
earners though.
 
gore0bsessed
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Yup. In Canada that is almost $1700 a month net.

So it's just barely livable if you're working full time.

Quote: Originally Posted by damngrumpy View Post

Fifteen dollars an hour is not unreasonable. What is unreasonable is the
bloated payments made to those at the top of chain. For example the guy
who screwed Target up completely is rewarded with over sixty million in
severance for the mess he made. Target ends up being routed from this
country completely and they have liquidators selling off even the shelves.
Add to that there is then seventy million to distribute among more than
seventeen thousand employees. That was just one person who got the big
payday never mind the others.
We are really paying for the excess at the top not the average worker.
The big corporations whine constantly they are paying too much when in fact
they are not paying their share. It is easier to point the finger at low wage
earners though.


It's true. CEO's don't earn a fraction of their wage.
 
gerryh
+2
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by gore0bsessed View Post

So it's just barely livable if you're working full time.


Really, my son qualified for a mortgage on a condo at 15/hour. So I wouldn't exactly say that it is "barely" livable.
 
gore0bsessed
#19
Nonsense.
 
gerryh
+2
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by gore0bsessed View Post

Nonsense.


ROFLMFAO.....I'll be sure to let him know.
 
SLM
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by gerryh View Post

ROFLMFAO.....I'll be sure to let him know.

That'll probably come as a real shock to the mortgage broker too.
 
gerryh
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by SLM View Post

That'll probably come as a real shock to the mortgage broker too.


yup yup yup, it just shows how ignorant gore is when it comes to the reality of life.
 
SLM
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by gerryh View Post

yup yup yup, it just shows how ignorant gore is when it comes to the reality of life.

Reality and realty......yeah, I know.
 
Kreskin
#24
Just thinking about a 15 dollar minimum wage is what shut them down? Oh brother.

It was absolutely profitable until an extra 100 dollar a day expense kicks in. Millionaires squashed just like that.
 
petros
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by gore0bsessed View Post

So it's just barely livable if you're working full time.
It's true. CEO's don't earn a fraction of their wage.

Yup it is IF you are responsible with your money.

Really? CEOs do nothing?
 
WLDB
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by gore0bsessed View Post

Is $15 an hr even a livable wage?

I live in downtown Ottawa on less. Not as well as I'd like but its enough to pay the bills and have a little bit of fun. Thats with full time hours though. If you make $15 or hell $20 an hour but are getting part time hours it'll still be a struggle in most cities.

Quote: Originally Posted by gerryh View Post

Really, my son qualified for a mortgage on a condo at 15/hour. So I wouldn't exactly say that it is "barely" livable.

True. One of my co-workers did that last year with a similar wage. I was surprised that the banks would do that.
 
Kreskin
#27
The owners were living the dream until this.
 
gore0bsessed
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Yup it is IF you are responsible with your money.

Really? CEOs do nothing?

to justify their 6-7 digit wages? no.
 
WLDB
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by B00Mer View Post


Give'em the $15/hr and fire 2/3 of your staff.. adios

Quite possible, but then who would buy at these stores? Wal Mart and other similar large retailers are probably not getting most of their business from people making a hell of a lot of money.
 
EagleSmack
#30
Quote: Originally Posted by Kreskin View Post

The owners were living the dream until this.


They probably weren't living the dream. They probably had a good business and liked doing what they were doing. If you do not think losing $100 a day in profit for a small eatery is not a big deal then you aren't thinking it through. The Restaurant biz is tough as it is.


These aren't McDonalds we're talking about here.
 

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