Not chump change

January 21, 2012

Talking heads and politicians are notoriously bad at math. Morton Marcus [Jan. 9 Forefront] acts as if paying higher wages equates to something like 30 cents per diner. I think this is disingenuous.

Let’s take a more realistic approach; in other words, how an actual entrepreneur who risked his or her own capital to start a business [would] analyze the increased operating cost.

If a restaurant is open 360 days a year for 12 hours a day, there are 4,320 labor hours in a year (assuming one server or tip-based employee during business hours). Increasing the minimum wage $2.87 per hour increases the cost to ownership $12,398 per server needed (before tax burden). A restaurant averaging six servers incurs additional annual operating cost of $74,390.

I don’t know what ivory tower Marcus lives in, but where I come from $75,000 is meaningful. If it is chump change, could Marcus pick up the tab?


Ryan Bonnell

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