FSR Magazine: As Biden Prepares to Take Office, the Minimum Wage Battle Returns

By Danny Klein
FSR Magazine, January 2021

As President-elect Joe Biden assumes office later this month, he’ll bring a host of potential changes to Washington. When it comes to the restaurant industry, no topic presses deeper or more controversial than minimum wage. Biden expressed previously, pointedly on his “Build Back Better” transition website, a desire to provide workers “a decent wage, at least $15 per hour.” He’s also pushed to end tipped minimum wage and sub-minimum wage for people with disabilities. ...

Proponents of raising the minimum wage to $15 believe it would narrow racial and gender pay gaps and reduce turnover. Others say it would create a circular effect, almost like a stimulus check, as workers pour more money back into the economy. Business for a Fair Minimum Wage expressed support for $15 by 2024 and got some restaurants to sign on, like &pizza. ...

&pizza believes it will get to $15 minimum wage across its stores by the end of next year. “2020 knocked us all on our asses, but these essential workers showed up,” Michael Lastoria said in November. "In most cases, they had to for the paycheck—for their livelihood and families – and in all cases because they are the best of us—caring and committed—as we now need to be even more so for them. We must make the minimum wage in this country a living wage, and if Congress can't figure that out quickly, &pizza will show them how.” ...

“Back in March, we instituted a pay raise for everyone at the beginning of COVID, and while many of the biggest retailers in the country were cutting back on those raises come summer, we made them permanent,” &pizza CEO Andy Hooper said Wednesday at ICR.

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Copyright 2021 Journalistic Inc.


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