A Minnesota Restaurant's 'Minimum Wage Fee' Is the New 'Obamacare Tax'

Groups rallied for a minimum wage increase in Minneapolis in February. Groups rallied for a minimum wage increase in Minneapolis in February. Flickr user fibonacciblue

A Minnesota restaurant decided to greet the state's recent minimum wage increase by adding a $0.35-cent "minimum wage fee" to all bills. Minnesota raised its minimum wage to $8.00 per hour on August 1, up from the federal rate of $7.25. Craig Beemer, the owner of the Oasis Cafe, told The Star Tribune that it will cost him an extra $10,000 a year. Instead of raising the costs of menu items, Beemer decided to add the fee to every receipt. 

The extra line time echoes the argument some restaurants made when the Affordable Care Act went into effect. One Los Angeles restaurant began to charg a 3 percent Obamacare surcharge. In 2012, a Denny's franchise owner considered adding a 5 percent Obamacare surcharge. But as we've noted before, costs rise for restaurants all the time — droughts raise food prices, landlords raise rent prices, etc. — and companies rarely not their extra expenses on the bill. But Minnesota's new minimum wage — and the wider, national movement for a living wage — is something concrete and newsworthy that seems to justify the price hike.

In both cases, whether it's a fee for providing health care or for paying a living wage, the reaction seems to be mixed. As The Washington Post noted, some commenters praised the restaurant for showing how the new wage affects companies, while others said they didn't mind paying more as much as they minded Beemer's attitude. “I’d gladly absorb a price increase to make sure my waitress/waiter was making a more livable wage, but I won’t patronize a restaurant with your attitude,” Facebook user Chuck Smith-Dewey wrote.

(Image via Flickr user fibonacciblue)

NEWSLETTER

Get daily news from Route Fifty

Top stories on how innovation is driving smarter government across the country.

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.