BFMW In the News

Marketplace: Wetzel's Pretzels' CEO says minimum wage increase boosts business

By Sam Harnett
Marketplace, February 17, 2017

CEO Bill Phelps says his thoughts on minimum wage have evolved. In 1994, Phelps co-founded the fast food chain Wetzel’s Pretzels, which has almost a hundred outlets in California. ...

The state increased the minimum wage in mid-2014 and raised it again Jan. 1 on its path to reach $15 per hour by 2022.

CFO: Holly Sklar: Raising the Minimum Wage Makes Economic Sense

By Holly Sklar
CFO, February 16, 2017
Square-Off: Is Raising the Minimum Wage a Good Idea?

Businesses depend on customers who can afford to buy what they are selling. When millions of workers can’t make ends meet because their wages haven’t kept up with the cost of living, it hurts business and it hurts the economy.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle: Minimum wage increase may stymie small business

By Matthew Steecker
Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Feb. 16, 2017

Daily Beast: Mayor Bill de Blasio: As Puzder Pushes Radical Ideas, NYC Models the Right Way to Treat Workers

When working people make more money, they spend that money—and businesses hire more working people to meet increased demand

By Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York City
The Daily Beast, February 15, 2017

Families across America are struggling to make ends meet. Many workers cannot survive without two or even three jobs. Meanwhile, CEOs are taking home sickening amounts of money. It’s happening all over, but if you want especially egregious examples, look no further than the fast-food industry.

Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin: Wage hike may stymie small business

By Matthew Steecker
Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin, Feb. 10, 2017

Fox 43 (PA): Dauphin Co. lawmaker proposes $15 minimum wage by 2023

By Matt Maisel
Fox 43 (PA), January 24, 2017

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Fighting to raise the minimum wage [currently $7.25] is a battle state representative Patty Kim has lost for the last few years. ... With new leadership in 2017, Rep. Kim is hoping this legislative session brings an open look into bringing Pennsylvania's first wage hike since 2009. ... 

KQED: UC Berkeley Study Predicts Positive Economic Benefit From California’s Minimum Wage Increases

By Sam Harnett
KQED, January 13, 2017

Are minimum wage increases good for the economy on the whole or bad? ...

San Diego Union Tribune: Todd Gloria: Minimum-wage increase imposed by will of voters

Op-Ed By Todd Gloria
San Diego Union Tribune, Jan 12, 2017

... Almost two-thirds of San Diego voters supported a minimum-wage increase. And, more than 250,000 of our fellow San Diegans received a boost in pay. 

Forbes: Higher Seattle Minimum Wage Hasn't Hurt Restaurant Jobs Growth After A Year

By Erik Sherman
Forbes, Jan 7, 2017

Someone I know had posted a link about a fast food CEO who said that higher business growth followed minimum wage hikes in California. According to KQED, Bill Phelps, chief executive of Wetzel’s Pretzels, which has more than 100 outlets in the state, was "shocked" when business rose after a wage increase.

"My overall sales were something like 15 percent ahead after the first minimum wage bump, and now they’re about 12 percent ahead this year," [Franchisee] Jacobs said. "It isn’t because I’m such a great manager or smart guy, but the buying public has more money in their pocket."

Associated Press (AP): Obama's final jobs report

By Christopher S. Rugaber
Associated Press (AP), Jan 6, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans' paychecks rose in December at the fastest pace in more than seven years as steady hiring and low unemployment led some businesses to pay more to attract and keep workers. Employers added 156,000 jobs, a decent total that shows that moderate hiring remains sustainable 7½ years after the recovery from the Great Recession began. ...

CBS Philly: Local Business Starts Minimum Wage Campaign

By Hadas Kuznits
CBS Philly, January 6, 2017

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — With little hope of the state government raising the minimum wage, one local business owner has taken matters into his own hands.

Ken Weinstein is owner of Trolley Car Diner and Trolley Car Cafe. This week, he independently launched the Wage Change Campaign, which asks business owners to voluntarily raise the minimum wage to eight dollars this year, and an additional dollar each year until it reaches eleven dollars in the year 2020.

Colorado Springs Independent: Low-income workers just got a raise

By J. Adrian Stanley
Colorado Springs Independent, Jan 4, 2016

The best present for many Colorado workers didn't show up under the Christmas tree — instead it will appear on their first paycheck of 2017. ...

Richard Skorman, owner of the Poor Richard's complex of restaurants and stores in north downtown, says he already pays his workers more than minimum wage, and he thinks most small business owners do the same. It's chains, he says, that usually pay minimum wage, and forcing them to pay workers more is likely to make small businesses like his more competitive.

Politico: California Playbook

Politico, Jan 4, 2017
By Carla Marinucci and David Siders

... “Fast Food CEO didn’t believe it, but now he’s seen it - higher minimum wage boosts business,” via KQED’s The California Report: Bill Phelps “is now convinced minimum wage increases aren’t bad for the fast food business; in fact, he says, they’re great. Phelps said you can see why if you visit the Wetzel’s Pretzels franchise in Concord’s Sunvalley Shopping Center.” ...

KQED: Fast Food CEO Says Higher Minimum Wage Boosts Business

By Sam Harnett
KQED (NPR), Jan 3, 2017

When California began raising its minimum wage two years ago, Bill Phelps wasn’t happy. Phelps is CEO of a fast food company called Wetzel’s Pretzels, which has almost 100 outlets in California. ... But something else happened entirely. Sales at his California stores immediately shot up.

“I was shocked,” Phelps says. “I was stunned by the business.”

US DOL Blog: Michael Kanter: Why One Family-Owned Business Decided to #RaiseTheWage

By Michael Kanter
U.S. Department of Labor Blog, Jan. 3, 2017

Editor's note: The following guest post is by Michael Kanter, the co-founder and chief visionary officer of Cambridge Naturals,a community natural health and wellness store in Massachusetts.

As of Dec. 19, 2016, we at Cambridge Naturals raised our starting hourly wage from $13 to $15.