OPINIONWorkforce

Will $30 replace $15 as the target for minimum-wage increases?

Restaurant Rewind: A proposal to require $30 an hour for some foodservice employees is already scheduled for consideration by Los Angeles County officials next month. Is it a fluke or an omen? The past provides some clues.

Restaurateurs greeted the initial demands for a $15 minimum wage with disbelief and ridicule. Now the industry is facing proposals to set a floor of $30 an hour for some employees.

Is it déjà vu all over again? Will that level of pay become the new wage target for organized labor and politicians, the way $15 has been for years? Or is the demand for a $30 wage merely a test to see how high the pay floor can be lifted?

This week’s episode of Restaurant Rewind looks for clues in a recollection of how a $15 wage became the standard ask when increases in a minimum wage are being considered. How did a pay level more than double the federal rate become a norm?

Download the episode and join me as we retrace that course. You’ll find Restaurant Rewind wherever you usually get your podcasts.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.

Multimedia

Exclusive Content

Workforce

Restaurants have a hot opportunity to improve their reputation as employers

Reality Check: New mandates for protecting workers from dangerous on-the-job heat are about to be dropped on restaurants and other employers. The industry could greatly help its labor plight by acting first.

Financing

Some McDonald's customers are doubling up on the discounts

The Bottom Line: In some markets, customers can get the fast-food chain's $5 value meal for $4. The situation illustrates a key rule in the restaurant business: Customers are savvy and will find loopholes.

Financing

Ignore the Red Lobster problem. Sale-leasebacks are not all that bad

The decade-old sale-leaseback at the seafood chain has raised questions about the practice. But experts say it remains a legitimate financing option for operators when done correctly.

Trending

More from our partners