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NY restaurateur warns $15 min wage will decimate local business; damning report backs his claim

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A New York restaurant owner slammed a plan by Democrats to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Democrats recently unveiled their plan to raise the federal minimum wage in an effort to allegedly help American workers. But Jon Bloostein, who owns multiple restaurants in New York, blasted the idea as one that has a “detrimental effect” on local businesses.

“It has a huge detrimental effect on all full-service restaurants in New York because Albany decided that in New York City, the minimum wage would go up six times in my industry in three years,” Bloostein told Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade on “Fox & Friends” Friday, explaining that other areas in the state spread the increase out over a longer period of time.

“The minimum wage in New York City for tipped employees went up 100 percent in three years,” the Heartland Brewery owner explained. “What company in America doubles their payroll in three years?”

More than 75 percent of New York City restaurants have had to reduce hours for their employees, and another 36 percent have had to eliminate jobs, due to the hikes pushed by progressive Democrats, according to a survey by The NYC Hospitality Alliance.

As of Dec. 31, 2018, all employers in the city with 11 or more employees had to follow through with increasing wages from $13 to $15 an hour – a 15 percent hike and the third wage increase in the city since Dec. 31, 2016, according to US News and World Report.

Bloostein noted that increasing the prices for his menu items is not enough to combat the effect of the increase in payroll. Letting employees go and cutting hours is only slightly going to make a dent, he explained.

According to US News:

In response to the increase, 90 percent of full-service restaurants reported that in 2018 they increased menu prices. Almost 3 percent eliminated tipping or cited the increase as “a significant factor” in closing their business. Furthermore, almost 56 percent of full-service restaurants made changes to their food and drink offerings to reduce costs.

In 2019, restaurants are looking to make even more changes. About 87 percent reported they would increase their prices and about three-quarters said they would eliminate jobs. Almost 4 percent said they would eliminate tipping.

 

Business owners with fewer than 10 employees are not off the hook, either. Wages rose from $12 to $13.50 at the end of 2018 as the hikes took effect, and these employers will have to match the $15 per hour minimum by the close of 2019.

Fox News host Brian Kilmeade pointed out that “entry-level jobs” are not meant to be sustaining, life-long jobs but are to provide a stepping stone in en employee’s career path.

“You can’t have businesses that are giving people houses,” he said Friday.

“Thank you! That’s the way it’s always been,” Bloostein agreed. “Politicians are effectively buying votes at our expense.”

Frieda Powers

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