NYC Restaurants Feel Pinch of $15 Minimum Wage Hike

A waiter clears a table at a midtown restaurant popular for business lunches on November 22, 2011 in New York City. As retailers prepare for the start of the traditional holiday shopping season, the Commerce Department revised third-quarter GDP downward to 2 percent from 2.5 percent Tuesday for the quarter …
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New York City’s restaurants are feeling the pinch of a $15 minimum wage hike, cutting staff hours and closing restaurants to make ends meet.

Since the $15-an-hour minimum wage took effect in New York City in December, mom-and-pop restaurants like Gabriela’s Restaurant and Tequila Bar announced it would be closing its doors at the end of September after being forced to slash restaurant staff from 60 to 45.

“We started by having to let go of the ladies who hand-made our tortillas. It’s certainly better when you can make your tortillas fresh for every taco,” Nat Milner told the New York Post. “It made sense at $8 an hour but not at $15.”

“I’m not against people making more money,” Milner added. “These people have worked for me for 20 years. But taxes, groceries, everything is going up and people have a little less money to spend on guacamole and tequila.”

Gabriela’s is not the only restaurant to succumb to the $15 an hour minimum wage in New York City.

A study from the New York City Hospitality Alliance found out of 324 full-service restaurants, 76.5 percent of those who responded said they had to cut staff hours and 36.3 percent cut jobs altogether to make room for the mandated wage increases.

The $15 minimum wage hike has also been proposed at the national level. Breitbart News reported in July that the House approved a bill that would raise the minimum wage to $15 by the year 2025.

Job Creators Network President Alfredo Ortiz slammed Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) for a similar $20 minimum wage proposal, especially pointing out that 2020 Democrat presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was shedding staffers at a $15 minimum wage.

“It’s a shame Rep. Tlaib didn’t hear that Bernie Sanders is cutting his staff’s hours to meet their demands for a $15 minimum wage,” Ortiz said. “If she won’t listen to job creators about the unintended consequences of a higher minimum wage, maybe she’ll listen to a socialist politician.”

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