National Restaurant Association & The Minimum Wage

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) is to restaurants as the American Medical Association (AMA) is to medicine: A national organization having as its mission the preservation and promotion of its members’ values and goals.

In the NRA’s case, this means the use of huge amounts of money spent in our national legislature to influence the voting of senators and congress-people.  Of late, the focus has been on keeping the minimum wage at its current levels.

The NRA’s position is that increasing the minimum wage will be a financial disaster for small businesses.  Specifically, they will not be able to expand and hire more employees; will leave sites where current profits are adequate; won’t be able to promote as readily due to wages increased for the least skilled; and so on.

The main way to increase the minimum wage, the NRA notes, is to increase food prices.  Well, um, increase food prices by 2% or 3%.  Lower the salaries of CEO’s.  Come up with business plans that adapt to the new economic reality of increasing wages that will enable employees to thrive and save for the future.

The current minimum wage ranges from $5.15 in Wyoming to $9.47 in Washington state (exclusive of L.A.’s recent increase to $15).  Do the math: At 40 hours per week, that’s about $200 a week or $400 a week, times 50 weeks, or $10,000 a year to $20,000 a year.

We all know that these wages are going to increase imminently.  So rather than waste its membership’s money on lobbying, why not invest in hiring a top consultant firm to help small restaurants develop viable plans that include increasing wages as well as expanding?

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