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Northwest Stir April 2014

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An Introduction to Tom Douglas’ Letter on the proposed minimum wage hike:

Most of you have heard about the Seattle movement to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour. While we all want to see more money put into the hands of those who are at the bottom of the wage scale, we also feel that there hasn’t been enough public discussion given to issues such as whether benefits are to be considered part of wages and, of special importance to the restaurant industry, whether tips are to be considered part of wages. If the answer to both these questions is no, what are the economic consequences to businesses and in particular to our restaurant business model?  This is a complicated issue and one that we think is not well served by slogans. Our company’s own recent back-of-house wage increase initiative has vaulted us to the forefront of this debate. Tom would like to clarify his thoughts on the proposed $15/ hour minimum wage increase as a way of starting a discussion on how this increase, if it is passed by the City Council or voted in on the ballot, will affect all of us and our economic futures. Here is Tom’s letter:

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