Minimum Wage on Menu this November: The Tipping Point

by Sarah Henry on October 28, 2014 · 0 comments

in edible east bay magazine,edible san francisco magazine,food businesses,food politics,food research,food security,restaurants


esf_sum14_cover_720Soon voters will decide whether or not to raise the minimum wage in two Bay Area cities.

On the ballot in San Francisco, a measure to bump the minimum wage from $10.74 to $15. Across the bay in Oakland, an initiative that would lift the hourly pay from $9 to $12.25.

Who isn’t in favor of increasing income for the lowest paid among us in one of the most expensive area’s to live?

And yet restaurant owners who run small, independent businesses that help give these towns their unique flavor say a seismic wage increase could sink some establishments already running on thin profit margins.

Learn more in my story “The Tipping Point” for Edible San Francisco and “Counting the Beans” for Edible East Bay.

Since these stories ran, some developments of note:

A handful of Bay Area restaurateurs, including some featured in my stories, have decided to replace tipping with a 20% surcharge on all checks.

A report by Restaurant Opportunities Centers United revealed that one third of restaurant employees in Oakland can’t afford to eat at the places they work.

And a UC Berkeley study found that a rise in the minimum wage could help close the wealth gap for almost 25% of San Francisco workers.

Have your say on November 4.

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