Oasis Cafe in Stillwater, Minnesota has some thoughts about the state’s recent minimum wage hike. Now that the first in a series of pay raises intended to bring workers closer to a living wage has boosted the minimum wage from $6.15 to $8 per hour for larger companies and $5.25 to $6.50 for smaller ones, this brave business is speaking out against this attempt to ensure that workers are paid fairly.
As if $8 for a bacon cheeseburger is not enough, the cafe is now charging customers a “minimum wage fee” to protest this slight cut into profits. Customers have been speaking out on Twitter, posting receipts from their visit to an establishment that clearly does not care for its employees:
“Wow! You couldn’t just increase your prices by 35 cents for two meals? Don’t you wonder how that makes your employees feel, making them look like the bad guys to their customers. Shame on you. (For the record, I took this photo off a friend’s FB page. I wasn’t a customer there, nor will I ever be now.)”, one visitor posted on Facebook.
What is the restaurant protesting, exactly? The wage increase also helps out tipped employees, of course! The restaurant posted a statement on its Facebook page confirming the increase:
With regards to why we’re charging a $.35 fee to cover the recent $.75 increase in minimum wage…we estimate the increase in labor cost will will cost our company more than $10,000 per year…which has to be offset by an increase in revenue in order to operate profitably. Rather than increase the prices of our menu items, we chose to charge a flat fee. If the state of Minnesota would pass tip credit, like 43 other states have done, none of this would be necessary. For what it’s worth, we pay our people very well. Our dishwashers start at $10/hour, our cooks start at $12/hour and our servers average more than $20 when you consider what they earn in tips.
Despite the “explanation,” the business is facing backlash for its temper tantrum over paying employees fairly.
It’s already blowing up in their faces, but we can’t wait for the final results. Hopefully they serve crow, because the owner will need some in a doggie bag.