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-   -   Economics Stillwater, mn cafe faces heat for adding 'minimum wage fee' (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?t=285520)

displacedinMN 08-06-2014 07:21 PM

Stillwater, mn cafe faces heat for adding 'minimum wage fee'
 
http://www.startribune.com/politics/...270235821.html

A small cafe in Stillwater has thrown itself into the big battle over Minnesota’s minimum wage increases, inundating the cafe with dozens of phone calls and online comments this week after it tacked on a 35-cent fee to meal tabs.

Oasis Cafe owner Craig Beemer said the fee is needed to offset the 75-cent wage hike that took effect Aug. 1, the first time Minnesota’s minimum wage has increased in a decade. Even with only half a dozen servers, Beemer says it will cost him $10,000 more a year to pay servers $8 an hour instead of the federal rate of $7.25 an hour. Instead of adding it on to food prices, he added the minimum wage fee” — the only restaurant known to do so in Minnesota so far.

It’s set off a firestorm of debate on Facebook and in the east metro community, with one customer calling the cafe Wednesday to demand a refund and others taking to Facebook to encourage people to boycott the roadside cafe.

“We’re shocked at what’s going on,” manager Colin Orcutt said of the public response. “We’re all appalled at the response for just protecting his employees. We’re just doing what we have to do.”

It’s not the only restaurant responding to the wage hike.

Blue Plate Co., which owns eight restaurants in the Twin Cities and has about 650 workers, says the mandatory wage increase and rising expenses due to the health care law will cost the company $1.25 million, prompting the company to slightly increase prices and add a fee to servers when a credit card is used to pay a tip.

“We believe that the industry is overreacting,” Wade Luneberg of the MN State Council of UNITE HERE Unions told Star Tribune columnist Jon Tevlin this week. “Putting [minimum wage] fees on tickets and passing the cost on to consumers directly is strange at best, and creates an ‘us against them’ mentality while ordering dinner.”

At the Stillwater cafe, which sits at the edge of the downtown and near its historic caves, customers filed in Wednesday for the cafe’s signature burgers or breakfast meals. Despite online boycott threats, business has actually increased so far this week, Orcutt said.

“[Beemer] wants people to be aware we’re a small business and we’re trying to stay open,” he said, adding that the cafe considered running the restaurant without servers and more like a fast-food restaurant to make ends meet. “If you raise prices and don’t tell anyone, that seems more backhanded to me.”

Orcutt has worked in the industry for 10 years and said that he supports a wage hike for employees who don’t make tips, such as fast-food servers. But, he said, it’s different for the cafe’s servers who can make $25 to $40 in tips on top of $8 an hour in a weekend.

Earlier this year, that’s what the Minnesota Restaurant Association proposed, creating a two-tiered system that would give non-tipped employees that higher wage, while tipped employees who earned at least $12 an hour with tips remained at $7.25 an hour. But the Legislature approved the hike for all minimum-wage employees.

Beemer, who lives across the border in Wisconsin and has owned Oasis Cafe the past five years, wasn’t available for comment Wednesday. But Orcutt said Beemer wrote a letter to the Legislature opposing the new law.

Most customers outside the cafe Wednesday supported his decision.

“I think he did the right thing,” said customer Mike Stephan of Taylors Falls, who also owns a small business in Stillwater. “If nothing else, it’s making a bold statement.”

WhiteWhale 08-06-2014 08:18 PM

The costs of running a business has no impact on that business's ability to prosper. It's all supply and demand. There are no other factors involved.

Really smart people on CP told me this.

stonedstooge 08-06-2014 08:21 PM

Can't believe it without having charts and graphs to back it up/Longenious

Dave Lane 08-06-2014 08:22 PM

Well his math completely sucks, we know that.

Dave Lane 08-06-2014 08:29 PM

Might be why he's not a real good business man

Taco John 08-07-2014 12:33 AM

Well duh. They raise the minimum wage and think that the restaurants will just stand and get soaked? Of course not. They're going to pass the costs on to the customers. This naive legislating is pretty silly.

Eleazar 08-07-2014 05:21 AM

He should have just silently nickeled and dimed everyone like every other business will to make up for minimum wage increases. There are plenty of lefty cranks in Minnesota who'd like to put him out of business just for daring to speak something that isn't orthodox. They have Al Franken for a Senator and the governor is a psychotic drunk, after all.

InChiefsHell 08-07-2014 05:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cochise (Post 10799286)
He should have just silently nickeled and dimed everyone like every other business will to make up for minimum wage increases. There are plenty of lefty cranks in Minnesota who'd like to put him out of business just for daring to speak something that isn't orthodox. They have Al Franken for a Senator and the governor is a psychotic drunk, after all.

This. I figure I'd probably have just slightly raised food prices. BUT, I like that he is making a statement. It's like the gas station owner who breaks out the price of a gallon of gas, and shows how much tax the feds, state and local governments get out of a gallon. IIRC, that guy got in trouble and was not allowed to continue showing people where the price is coming from.

Bravo to this guy.

FishingRod 08-07-2014 06:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by InChiefsHell (Post 10799292)
This. I figure I'd probably have just slightly raised food prices. BUT, I like that he is making a statement. It's like the gas station owner who breaks out the price of a gallon of gas, and shows how much tax the feds, state and local governments get out of a gallon. IIRC, that guy got in trouble and was not allowed to continue showing people where the price is coming from.

Bravo to this guy.

I remember seeing some people that did that. What possible trouble could they get in for that and from Whom? It would be pretty interesting to see that breakdown on a pack of cigarettes.

displacedinMN 08-07-2014 06:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by InChiefsHell (Post 10799292)
This. I figure I'd probably have just slightly raised food prices. BUT, I like that he is making a statement. It's like the gas station owner who breaks out the price of a gallon of gas, and shows how much tax the feds, state and local governments get out of a gallon. IIRC, that guy got in trouble and was not allowed to continue showing people where the price is coming from.

Bravo to this guy.

I wish this was done more (gas tax breakdown)

Food companies are told to put every ingredient on packaging.
fast food outlets have to show the caloric intake of every meal

But the government does not have to show or does not want us to see where the money is going. Yea for transparency!!!


Quote:

He should have just silently nickeled and dimed everyone like every other business will to make up for minimum wage increases. There are plenty of lefty cranks in Minnesota who'd like to put him out of business just for daring to speak something that isn't orthodox. They have Al Franken for a Senator and the governor is a psychotic drunk, after all.
It's amazing how everyone everywhere know about Minnesota liberal politics.
Someday I can move away.

Dave Lane 08-07-2014 11:32 AM

Everyone does realize that his math is completely incorrect and he's just ****ing his customers. You all did the math right?

HonestChieffan 08-07-2014 11:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dave Lane (Post 10799827)
Everyone does realize that his math is completely incorrect and he's just ****ing his customers. You all did the math right?

Please, show us?

Detoxing 08-07-2014 11:41 AM

So basically the mistake he made was calling it "Minimum Wage fee" instead of simply upping his prices like everyone else.

He tried to show everyone how unhappy he is with the rate change and now its blowing up in his face.

He also sounds like a horrible person to work for.

Eleazar 08-07-2014 11:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by displacedinMN (Post 10799326)
It's amazing how everyone everywhere know about Minnesota liberal politics.
Someday I can move away.

I lived in the Cities for about 4 years of the last 6

alpha_omega 08-07-2014 12:05 PM

truth in advertising.


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