High Road Restaurant Owners Speak Out for Higher Minimum Wage

Stephen Herzenberg |

A few weeks ago, we responded to criticism about the feasibility of a $15-per-hour wage for fast food workers. In that post, we highlighted two “high road” employers, one a fast-food chain, as living examples of the feasibility — and profitability — of paying workers better.

In the Detroit News Thursday, there’s a great op-ed by a restaurant owner advocating for a $10.10-per-hour minimum wage and for a tipped minimum wage set at 70% of the regular minimum wage — which would be much better than the current 39% for tipped workers in Pennsylvania.

The Detroit restaurant owner is a member of a new industry association for restaurants, Restaurants Advancing Industry Standards in Employment (RAISE). RAISE unveiled itself earlier this year and was formed partly through outreach by the Keystone Research Center’s good friends at the Restaurant Opportunities Center. (Keystone honored ROC at its 2013 annual award dinner.)

RAISE provides a counter-balance to the National Restaurant Association (NRA). This NRA — not to be confused with the National Rifle Association — and its think tank, the Employment Policies Institute, have long been vocal opponents of a higher minimum wage.

If you are — or know — a high road restaurant owner in Pennsylvania, please reach out to the Keystone Research Center by calling us at 717-255-7181. We will connect any interested restaurant owners with RAISE and ROC — and also be thrilled to make their acquaintance and count them as allies ourselves.