[KPCC] 5 ways dining out may change as the minimum wage rises

Raise the price . BFD .

Recently retired beer guzzler with deep-pockets feeling pretty flush, eh? :grin::tophat::moneybag::beer::+1:

1 Like

yep yep …:cowboy_hat_face:

1 Like

Maybe its just me but I don’t really think I’d notice if a place raised the price of every dish by $0.25 to $0.50 to cover the increase in minimum wage. I certainly would not stop going to say Earthen if the price of their green onion pancake went from $5.99 to $6.49.


Work more , less pay :grimacing:

I’m not sure it’s that simple.

Let’s take your example of Earthen. Yes, in isolation paying an extra 50¢ for scallion pancakes may seem immaterial, but few (if anyone) goes to Earthen and orders just scallion pancakes. Because man cannot live on scallion pancakes alone.

So, in addition to that scallion pancake order (now +50¢), one might also order the House Special Chicken (which will most likely be +$1.00), and maybe a bowl of beef noodle soup (perhaps another +50¢), as well as a plate of dumplings (another likely +50¢). So, add it all up, a typical meal for two is now $2.50 more expensive than before. Add the typical 20% gratuity on top of that additional $2.50, and the total additional cost comes to about $3.00.

Not grand, nor significant, in the overall scheme of things. Especially for a one-time splurge.

But for restaurants like Earthen and its ilk, they survive not on the “one-time splurge” meals (like, say, a Providence or Spago), but on repeat customers. And for those repeat customers, paying an additional $3.00 every time they go to Earthen will eventually be cost-offensive. Because the typical customer at Earthen will go to the restaurant maybe more than once a week (for a weekday lunch), or maybe 3-4x a month (for a weekend meal), and those $3.00 do add up.

No right or wrong here. But from experience, any time minimum wages increase, restaurants employees at places like Earthen, on the aggregate, suffer.

1 Like

I dunno… If made real proper like, I could see myself subsisting on just that shit for a spell.

True, so true.

I guess I should’ve said “man cannot survive on one order of scallion pancakes alone”

1 Like

I hear what you’re saying. If every restaurant meal became ~$3 to $5 more expensive at a place like Earthen it would definitely impact a lot of people. We eat out 4-5x per week. We already eat more frequently at places lower along the price spectrum like Indian, Mexican, Thai, Chinese, etc… where a family of four can get out for under $30.

I don’t have a problem with the minimum wage increase or the 3% healthcare charge at higher end places as long as its very transparent.