Nation's Restaurant News: What does $15 per hour minimum wage in Florida mean for restaurants?

By Holly Petre
Nation's Restaurant News, Nov 9, 2020. Also in Restaurant Hospitality.

Florida last week joined the eight states and the District of Columbia as jurisdictions moving toward a $15 per hour minimum wage.

More than 60% of state voters last week approved Amendment 2, a ballot measure that will phase in an increase the state’s current minimum wage of $8.56 per hour to $15 per hour by Sept. 30, 2026. ...The amendment does not change the allowable tip credit of up to $3.02 per hour for tipped workers, according to the National Law Review. Currently eligible tipped workers receive a cash wage of $5.54 per hour, plus tips, and that will increase to $5.63 per hour on Jan. 1, 2021 and to $6.98 per hour on Sept. 30, 2021, increasing along with the full wage rate until it hits $11.98 per hour plus tips in 2026. ...

Claude Luciani, owner of Pizza Rustica in Hollywood, Fla., an independent casual dining restaurant in Fla., argued that increasing the minimum wage will reduce turnover.

“I understand how much it costs for training … and keeping good employees is crucial,” said Luciani. “You can build a better workforce without all the turnaround.” ...

Holly Sklar, CEO of the advocacy group Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, contends an increase in the minimum wage actually helps restaurants and business owners.

“Our message has long been that workers are also customers,” Sklar said. “So raising the minimum wage puts money in the pockets of the people who are the most needing to go out and spend it, not save it, but go out and spend it, which makes raising the minimum wage a really efficient way to boost the economy.”

During the current recession, the economy needs the boost, she added — noting that lawmakers also need to pass legislative relief, including the RESTAURANTS Act, which would offer a lifeline to restaurants struggling to survive during the crisis.

Business for a Fair Minimum Wage also supports a $15 per hour federal minimum wage by 2024 and has restaurant signors, including &pizza. ...

The last time voters enacted a minimum wage hike, outside of Florida’s annual adjustment for inflation, was in 2005 when the state increased the minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.15 per hour. According to The Palm Beach Post, after the last wage increase in Florida, “unemployment in the state dropped from 4.9% to 3.1%  in 2005 and the state added 200,000 jobs that year, many in the leisure and hospitality and food service sector that were supposed to be devastated by the wage increase.”

Read more

Copyright 2020 Informa USA

Share +