As Higher Minimum Wage Takes Effect In Seattle, Costs Rise

Who could have seen this coming?

(Fox News) Eating meals out in Seattle just got more expensive as tens of thousands of low wage workers got a raise this week to $11 an hour. It was the first scheduled pay increase on the way to $15 an hour, the highest minimum wage in the country.

Ivar’s Salmon House, an iconic Seattle seafood restaurant, decided to skip the phase-in period and began paying $15 right away.

It also raised menu prices 21 percent. The famous Fish ‘n Chips will run you $20.60 and the Wild Alaska Halibut is now $43.50. The restaurant also wrote on the menu, “Tipping is no longer necessary…we have changed the way we pay our employees.”

In my opinion, that last part was unnecessary, and a shot at employees. But, hey, why not go with the European model and pay a higher wage with not tipping? Telling patrons that tipping is not necessary is also a way to keep the overall cost of the dining experience down.

Fast food restaurants are taking it much slower, but they’re still charging more. One Subway in South Seattle that’s now paying workers $11 raised prices four percent.

“I don’t have a choice but to increase prices,” said Subway franchisee David Jones. “I just hope that the public rewards us for giving good service and having good food.

I think we can all visualize the Liberal response “hey, it’s just 4%. What’s the big deal?” Well, 4% here, 4% there, spread the 4% all around, and pretty soon this becomes some real money, especially as the same people who got this government mandated raise see a complementary cost of living increase.

From the Seattle school district to King County, every other public employer said it now is paying the higher wages. None would detail how they will afford the higher labor costs, but the Seattle College District listed some options. That list includes reduction in services, increase in fees/prices and eliminating services such as catering and fitness centers.

Um, surprise?

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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