12 August 2014

Restaurant adds "minimum wage fee" to its bills

A small cafe in Stillwater has thrown itself into the big battle over Minnesota’s minimum wage increases, inundating the cafe with dozens of phone calls and online comments this week after it tacked on a 35-cent fee to meal tabs.

Oasis Cafe owner Craig Beemer said the fee is needed to offset the 75-cent wage hike that took effect Aug. 1, the first time Minnesota’s minimum wage has increased in a decade. Even with only half a dozen servers, Beemer says it will cost him $10,000 more a year to pay servers $8 an hour instead of the federal rate of $7.25 an hour. Instead of adding it on to food prices, he added the “minimum wage fee” — the only restaurant known to do so in Minnesota so far.
The rest of the story is in the StarTribune.   Photo credit Kelly Smith.

Addendum:  A followup story, also in the StarTribune, on August 20:
Since then, over two weeks ago, Beemer says he has been flooded with criticism and support, and he's even appeared on national television political talk shows. ..

However, Beemer says his business the past two weeks is the best his restaurant has ever experienced. Beemer says every one of his employees supported the surcharge idea before he implemented it.


  1. Good for Mr. Beemer! He's providing a public service by teaching a basic lesson in economics.

  2. How much does he add onto his food prices to pay himself a living wage? Why does he not feel the need to line-item that on the customer's bill?

  3. The amount that would need to be added to provide Walmart employees with a living wage (while not cutting one cent into the billions of profit pocketed each year by the Walton family) is approximately $0.46 per shopping trip.

    Instead, we all pay higher taxes to support those workers with SNAP benefits, etc., because the Walton family billionaires would somehow suffer if they were forced to pay subsistence wages.

    If you can afford to take your family to a sit-down restaurant for dinner, you can afford to pay $0.35 more so that your server can afford to buy groceries at the store to feed THEIR families.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Aug 21 - Addendum added on the effect on the restaurant's business so far...


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