A “fair wage” pizza shop in Boston touting “economic justice” will close its doors after failing to make a profit.
The Boston Globe reports that Dudley Dough, which is billed as a pizza parlor “with a purpose,” will close in a few months after two years in business because the shop could not make any money after paying its employees above-market wages.
“The challenge for Dudley Dough was to support itself,” said Bing Broderick, executive director of the nonprofit Haley House, which oversees the shop.
Despite the pizzeria’s mission-oriented business plan, its mission to pay employees more combined with the added expenses of culinary and leadership training for its employees backfired as the additional costs made it hard for them to beat the competition.
Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, gave Dudley Dough $100,000 to help its operations but even that was not enough to save the struggling pizza shop.
The Globe notes that three other restaurants in the area that opened around the same time as Dudley Dough are still open.
A lot of the employees did not see the venture as a failed enterprise and are shocked and saddened by the company’s closing.
“I don’t think anyone is looking at it as a failure,” said Dudley Dough team leader Luther Pinckney.
“I didn’t see it coming. I have to keep working. I’ve got my youngest son in private school,“ said Dudley Dough employee Royce Terrell. “I like coming to work. It was kind of a shock.”
Broderick says that despite the nonprofit’s decision to close the shop, it is making a “significant effort” to help the staff find new jobs.
Many restaurants that are forced to pay wages above market value to their employees have had to raise prices, cut staff, or close shop. After New York City passed a two dollar minimum wage increase at the end of 2016, several restaurants closed their doors or raised prices.
When Seattle raised the minimum wage to $15, the city lost 900 jobs in the restaurant industry.