PMQ Pizza Magazine: Founder of &pizza Calls For Increase to Minimum Wage

Michael Lastoria: Restaurant chains hurt themselves by supporting current wage model

PMQ Pizza Magazine, April 2017

Michael Lastoria, founder of the hip and stylish &pizza chain, has taken a stand that won’t endear him to many of his fellow restaurant chain operators: He’s arguing for a higher national minimum wage. ... Lastoria believes higher wages boost employee retention and loyalty, saving money over the long term and reducing the need to constantly retrain new workers.

​Lastoria, who came to pizzeria management from a background in marketing and media services, told PMQ last year that the pizza industry is “ripe for disruption” and that he envisions &pizza as “the pizza shop of the 21st century.” ...

Lastoria met with President Obama’s secretary of labor to push the merits of raising the minimum wage and is a member of the advocacy group, Business for a Fair Minimum Wage. “We’ve been on the forefront as one of the few restaurant chains that has put a stake in the ground and said this is really important for us,” he told Business Insider. “I think change can happen there. It will just have a massive impact on society.”

Lastoria also wrote a blog, titled “A Fair Wage: For the Love of People &pizza,” for the Department of Labor’s website. “We plan on being at the forefront of the fight for additional state and federal raises because we’ve seen firsthand the business benefits of paying fair wages,” he wrote in the blog, adding that raising the minimum wage “makes good business sense” because workers are also customers and will put more money back into their local economy when they have more money to spend. ...

For his part, Lastoria believes publicly traded companies only hurt themselves when they focus on cutting expenses and speeding up growth. “Wall Street praises short-term profit,” Lastoria said. “They’re not thinking long term.” ...

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Copyright 2017 PMQ

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