Seattle’s latest minimum-wage law has considerably affected the restaurants. An iconic restaurant in Seattle, Ivar raises the menu prices as well as wage of the lowest workers directly to $15 an hour. This eliminates the custom of receiving tips from the customers. This Wednesday, Ivar’s will increase the wages of about 100 employees who make less than $15 at its sit-down restaurant Ivar’s Salmon House, at the north end of Lake Union.
Other employees like dishwashers, bussers and servers will also experience an increase in their hourly pay to a flat $15. It is estimated that this new system will not bring about much change in its hourly staff’s annual pay. Ivar will follow similar system will go into effect at its downtown Acres of Clams restaurant when it reopens in July. Furthermore, Ivar plans to boost the pay of minimum-wage workers at its more than 50 quick-service seafood bars and stadium locations to $11. To make up for this increment, menu prices at the seafood bars will go up about 3 percent.
Bartenders and servers made approximately $9.32 an hour, along with $18 to $19 an hour in tips on an average at the Salmon House in 2014. This sums up to $60,000wage and 17% tips for each bill annually. The price for new menu card would increase by 21% at the Salmon House. The 21 percent price hike will be shared among restaurant hourly staff, with 8 percent going to servers and bartenders, and 13 percent to be divided among bussers, hostesses, dishwashers and others.
The idea of this new system aims at enabling the workers to earn as much or more than what they earned last year. The new wage law directs large employers like Ivar to make substantial increase in the minimum wages. They must raise that wage each subsequent year until it reaches $15 in 2017 or in 2018 if they provide health-care benefits. However, Ivar took it to a completely new level by increasing the wage by flat $15.
The wage increases for larger businesses under the ordinance will come much faster than for smaller businesses. Locally-owned franchises are frustrated. Employees who have worked years to earn a higher wage are frustrated, too. The new system may represent a slight decrease in earnings
While it may represent a slight decrease in earnings the point to be noted is how sincerely the owners have tried to attack the problem – it seems like they really care about finding an equitable solution and doing more than the bare minimum.
Since percentages are used to express the tips and the commission, the only things that can increase minimum wages under the new system will be increased sales or increased hours, but assuming the sales don’t drastically increase, there won’t be a need to increase labor hours. And since the owners are paying more per hour, that incentivizes them to get all their employees off the clock ASAP, which could lead to an overall decrease in labor hours.