March 13, 2015

Seattle’s $15 minimum wage effective April 1st. Restaurants are closing. UNEXPECTEDLY! [Darleen Click]

Who could have ever predicted this?

Seattle’s $15 minimum wage law goes into effect on April 1, 2015. As that date approaches, restaurant across the city are making the financial decision to close shop. The Washington Policy Center writes that “closings have occurred across the city, from Grub in the upscale Queen Anne Hill neighborhood, to Little Uncle in gritty Pioneer Square, to the Boat Street Cafe on Western Avenue near the waterfront.”

Of course, restaurants close for a variety of reasons. But, according to Seattle Magazine, the “impending minimum wage hike to $15 per hour” is playing a “major factor.” That’s not surprising, considering “about 36% of restaurant earnings go to paying labor costs.” Seattle Magazine,

“Washington Restaurant Association’s Anthony Anton puts it this way: “It’s not a political problem; it’s a math problem.”

“He estimates that a common budget breakdown among sustaining Seattle restaurants so far has been the following: 36 percent of funds are devoted to labor, 30 percent to food costs and 30 percent go to everything else (all other operational costs). The remaining 4 percent has been the profit margin, and as a result, in a $700,000 restaurant, he estimates that the average restauranteur in Seattle has been making $28,000 a year.

“With the minimum wage spike, however, he says that if restaurant owners made no changes, the labor cost in quick service restaurants would rise to 42 percent and in full service restaurants to 47 percent.”

An ugly April Fool’s joke on Seattle’s citizens. But hey, being a Leftist never means taking responsibility for foreseeable consequences.

Posted by Darleen @ 1:24pm

Tags: ,

Comments (57)

  1. the good thing is it’s like subsidizing Asian robotech

    pretty soon robots will be bringing us tasty foozles much more efficiently than tatted up illiterate ameritrash can

    and that’s a beautiful thing

  2. “It’s not a political problem; it’s a math problem.”

    Oh, no, he has simply misunderstood: “Sometimes it’s three, sometimes it’s four, sometimes it’s five.” A brief trip to Room 101 will straighten him right out.

  3. Make minimum wage $1Million / year, put everyone in the high brackets, and watch the tax revenue come streaming in!

  4. Pingback: Seattle April Fool's Joke - a pink slip. - BitsBlog

  5. Greetings:

    Back in the Bronx of the ’50s and ’60s, restaurants didn’t so much close as get sold to their fire insurance company, if you get my drift.

  6. Pingback: More Seattle restaurants close because of $15 minimum wage

  7. In related news, I just received a piece of mail telling me I was legally obliged to respond to about an employee on the payroll for under two weeks about a year and a half ago.

    You literally (I know what literally means) have to hire someone to handle this paperwork or work overtime yourself for this shit just to scrape together a couple nickels in the service industry.

    People who were fired almost immediately after a day or two because they wouldn’t wash their hands are still creating paperwork. Nowadays you keep Typhoid Mary on the payroll. You just reduce their hours to pretend they work for you while they try to file a claim in those more limited hours.

  8. Is this what customers want? Dirty shit-smearing people touching your food?

    I thought this was a trump card when talking with a state agency after firing someone here in Wisco. I was wrong.

    So all of you pay more per entree and you have an increased risk of eating shit food.


  9. These are comments I should just make into a post as a formal thesis statement.

    But, I never have any time anymore.

    What everyone misses with their compassion is how:

    1. Your best servers won’t even reliably show up for their high tip days because they don’t like working weekends.

    2. Two-thirds of the people in the kitchen have a serious drug/alcohol problem. The other third doesn’t show up reliably because they don’t need the money for drugs.

    3. Compliance costs are insane. They’re just insane. We pay insurance in every way imaginable. But, guess what? You can never actually file on half these claims.

  10. The real problem as I see it is this country thinks it deserves a higher standard of living than it earns in labor.

  11. I might keep commenting on this specific thread forever rather than posting something new.

  12. >. Your best servers won’t even reliably show up for their high tip days because they don’t like working weekends<

    do tribalism. it is all the rage these days!!11!!

  13. Flashback: when I was 12-13 I used to sweep up and do grunt work in the new housing division to pull in some cash for the family.

  14. Flashforward: at 41 I tell a kid that if he shows up on his birthday rather than partying I’ll pay him time and a half and buy him a beer to spare.

    He doesn’t.

  15. What no one in this group understands is how you can’t live at a higher level than your work output. If you don’t show up for work, if you have no skills, if you’re a liar, if you’re a junkie… then you’re not worth what your parents told your delicate little ass.

  16. The real problem as I see it is this country thinks it deserves a higher standard of living than it earns in labor.


  17. This is what people get wrong about the very idea of minimum wage: anyone who is competent and reliable becomes something like a manager in about three months. They become actual managers in six.

    Competency and reliability are becoming that rare now.

    Go to work everyday. Pay attention. Imagine that you can solve problems as they come up rather than stare at your phone in the alley. Guess what? You now run the place you’re complaining about.

  18. And… thirded, McG.

  19. Here is a true story. I walk into a kitchen and no one is there so I walk out to where people smoke cigarettes and eavesdrop and everyone is pissed off about how the guy who didn’t show up screwed them out of coke after they all went in on it together.

    This happened.

    These are people who will file unemployment claims until I give up the ghost.

  20. Yes, I think I shall make this my personal twitter.

  21. So, when I was a young delinquent we were total maniacs. Total maniacs.

    But, we showed up for work. We had to show up for work. If you didn’t show up that had serious consequences. For instance, you could end up on the street. This was a real fear.

    So even in those crazy days you’d still show up at 6:30 in the morning and puke a couple times in the dumpster and hide it. Is that too much to ask? Seriously, is that too much to ask?

    And that was an acceptable practice. The punishment was in how terrible it is to work a shift or a double in that condition. This is how you learn to not be a moron.

    But, how do they learn now? How can they? You quit a job and you file for unemployment (yes, you can quit a job and claim unemployment now, ask any employer you know for details).

    Good luck, America.

  22. What you eventually learn is how if you don’t drink yourself crazy, mornings can be quite pleasant.

    What you eventually learn is how if you take care of the day’s problems without avoiding them, you can actually go to sleep without much assistance.

    Etc, etc, etc, etc.

  23. But those natural lessons of adulthood are not the lessons taught anymore.

    Every problem was created by a “boss”.

    Imagine the most insane theoretical instance of this possible. Just imagine that you stole from a convenience store with physical force, charged a cop, tried to grab his gun, and then, in the final moment of your life, wondered why everyone was being so mean to you.

    That’s too absurd to be true.

  24. These comment threads don’t have individual numbers on them anymore. How many more do I need to write to beat the old record?

    It feels like at least another couple thousand but I have no way to be sure.

  25. Excuse me, what’s this fly doing in my soup?

  26. Good times.

  27. The laws of supply and demand will be obeyed. The laws of Congress, state legislatures, and city councils cannot overturn them.

  28. I remember being happier than [happy animal here] because a $5/hour job jumped to $7.50 on New Years in ’95 (I think, maybe ’94). All of us unloading semis were singing and dancing.

    I don’t mean to say that was a good wage. I do mean to say it was a 50% more than we were making just an hour ago. We drank schnapps out of a flask.

    It’s a thing I’ll remember.

  29. It seems to me that some of these issues are hard for journalists to understand but pretty easy to understand as a poor white person.

    I worked 12 hour shifts at Green Giant in Wisconsin during summer through high school. (Illegally! As a child!)

    Worked odd jobs on work sites for cash for years. (Illegally! As a child!)

    Worked restaurants. Worked day labor. (Same, same.)

    So, it’s fun to hear about the plight of the immigrant laborer from these rich-ass white-guilt journalists.

  30. What you’ll find as a non-rich worker in America is how you’re immediately friends with some people in the cantina of the Green Giant in the middle of Wisconsin.

    You’ll learn some new words. You’ll make some friends. Then they go work cutting trees for Christmas right after harvest.

    Don’t know that this means anything at all but you can be assured that not a single person talking on a cable news station knows a bit of this life.

  31. What no one in this group understands is how you can’t live at a higher level than your work output.

    In a world where men can get pregnant and have abortions, that’s a damned lie.

    And besides, you’ve obviously never heard of filing a false income tax return in order to defraud someone else of their refund.

    And doesn’t welfare pay better than work anyways? Especially if you’re ambitious enough to get into black/gray market activities?/

  32. The real problem as I see it is this country thinks it deserves a higher standard of living than it earns in labor.

    Holy Mary Mother of God, bh, that deserves to be in needlepoint, framed, on the wall.

    [standing ovation]

  33. Thanks.

    It’s a funny thing. We’re all saying this in different ways all the time. We could probably make it a bit more pithy and viral in only a few more attempts.

  34. I might add another half dozen comments now.

  35. Okay, here’s another thing about poor life.

    There are drunkards everywhere. Find a place where rent isn’t payed and I’ll tell you right now that lots of them are living like Hillary Clinton.

    This guy is an “uncle” and his breath smells like gasoline. This gal is an “aunt” and she can’t handle stairs.

    This is a weekday thing quite often. Every drink is equivalent to a fifth of an hour of labor. Repeat until poor.

    Disagree if you want but I’m only saying that this is my experience. Money is not saved. It’s spent at the end of the week or the end of the month.

  36. That “uncle” is also dangerous to your siblings.

    This is another true thing.

  37. Are these people victims?

    I’d contend not.

    I don’t have any place in my heart for the drunk “uncle” staring at a sister. Anymore than we should pretend that it’s cool to have this lax attitude with illegals driving drunk.

    It’s absurd to have these thoughts. Being poor isn’t noble. It’s just a state of being.

    And the people who will be harmed are other poor people. Who will never matter to journalists. Because they’re actual victims, not fake political ones.

  38. As I need another couple thousand comments to complete these thread I should now contrast this with the religious people I know.

  39. So they’re crazy. They believe in the sky god with the beard.

  40. But…

    They send their kids to school in clean clothes. These same kids don’t say incredibly bizarre things that make you worry about how they’ll be messed up their whole lives.

    They don’t have “juicy” on their shorts.

    Teeth are brushed.

  41. What you see is straight up functionality. These kids are being taken care of. These kids are on a good path. They might well graduate high school without tutors.

  42. This has to matter, doesn’t it?

    If something has worked for a thousand years and the kids doing the same are still coming out well while the other ones are occasionally murdering people for fun? Yeah, I’m going with the old time religion.

  43. anyone who is competent and reliable becomes something like a manager in about three months. They become actual managers in six.

    Education and even “hard work” are, as it happens, only secondary ingredients to success. Far more important, and utterly disregarded outside of private-sector employment and the military, are leadership skills.

    I think our K-12 troubles might be well addressed by shitcanning all of the touchy-feely brainwashing in favor of leadership skills — but that would require replacing about 99.44% of all currently credentialed teachers with people who would undoubtedly refuse the pay cut.

    Especially if the current educratic environment remained unchanged.

  44. Mrs Bear was out of work for a year after the being fired from a company she had worked for her her entire adult life (new people promoted beyond their ability fired her). She is now working for a major golf resort and within 6 months she has different departments negotiating over her.

  45. Pingback: Then You’re Not Worth What Your Parents Told Your Delicate Little Ass / Framing the Dialogue

  46. Labor is a tough thing to evaluate monetarily. What constitutes labor and what are its quantifiable units of value? Someone might make a lucky investment and live comfortably on it without doing anything else while another person busts their tail their whole life and barely scrapes by. Shall we legislate what we imagine to be fair compensation for labor or let the market decide? Before you choose, remember that — sad but true — there are employers who, without governmental restrictions, would be delighted to exploit their human resources without any consideration for the “human” aspect of those resources.

  47. Yeats thought something about that:

    William Butler Yeats

    Among School Children


    I walk through the long schoolroom questioning;
    A kind old nun in a white hood replies;
    The children learn to cipher and to sing,
    To study reading-books and histories,
    To cut and sew, be neat in everything
    In the best modern way – the children’s eyes
    In momentary wonder stare upon
    A sixty-year-old smiling public man.


    I dream of a Ledaean body, bent
    Above a sinking fire. a tale that she
    Told of a harsh reproof, or trivial event
    That changed some childish day to tragedy –
    Told, and it seemed that our two natures blent
    Into a sphere from youthful sympathy,
    Or else, to alter Plato’s parable,
    Into the yolk and white of the one shell.


    And thinking of that fit of grief or rage
    I look upon one child or t’other there
    And wonder if she stood so at that age –
    For even daughters of the swan can share
    Something of every paddler’s heritage –
    And had that colour upon cheek or hair,
    And thereupon my heart is driven wild:
    She stands before me as a living child.


    Her present image floats into the mind –
    Did Quattrocento finger fashion it
    Hollow of cheek as though it drank the wind
    And took a mess of shadows for its meat?
    And I though never of Ledaean kind
    Had pretty plumage once – enough of that,
    Better to smile on all that smile, and show
    There is a comfortable kind of old scarecrow.


    What youthful mother, a shape upon her lap
    Honey of generation had betrayed,
    And that must sleep, shriek, struggle to escape
    As recollection or the drug decide,
    Would think her Son, did she but see that shape
    With sixty or more winters on its head,
    A compensation for the pang of his birth,
    Or the uncertainty of his setting forth?


    Plato thought nature but a spume that plays
    Upon a ghostly paradigm of things;
    Solider Aristotle played the taws
    Upon the bottom of a king of kings;
    World-famous golden-thighed Pythagoras
    Fingered upon a fiddle-stick or strings
    What a star sang and careless Muses heard:
    Old clothes upon old sticks to scare a bird.


    Both nuns and mothers worship images,
    But those the candles light are not as those
    That animate a mother’s reveries,
    But keep a marble or a bronze repose.
    And yet they too break hearts – O Presences
    That passion, piety or affection knows,
    And that all heavenly glory symbolise –
    O self-born mockers of man’s enterprise;


    Labour is blossoming or dancing where
    The body is not bruised to pleasure soul.
    Nor beauty born out of its own despair,
    Nor blear-eyed wisdom out of midnight oil.
    O chestnut-tree, great-rooted blossomer,
    Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole?
    O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,
    How can we know the dancer from the dance?


    My old tutor never was satisfied by our school-children’s answers to his question “What is labor here?”, and he seemed to think that was exactly what Yeats intended: a kind of irresolvable aporia.

  48. employers who, without governmental restrictions, would be delighted to exploit their human resources without any consideration

    Yet in an actual Free Market an employee would be free to say *f**k you* to such an employer and take a job across the street.

    Progressive Government has, in order to run one’s life for one for one’s own good, picks the winners & losers in the market and makes entry into so hard as to remove such a choice for the laborer.

    e.g. In CA if you want to start your own home-based business at anything other than sole-proprietor (say LLC or S-Corp) you’re going to pay $800/year up front to the State for the privilege and annually whether or not you make any profit.

  49. and … local CA cities (like Los Angeles) will make sure to check your state income taxes to see if you’re a writer from home and demand a business license, fees & taxes from you.

  50. In an ideal free market, there is always a better job across the street. Unfortunately, that is not always the case in real life. I guess my point is that a reasonable amount of regulation in the economy is a good thing for the protection of workers and consumers. On the other hand, an unreasonable amount of regulation will choke the market. It isn’t a binary choice between complete laissez-faire and complete governmental control.

  51. reasonable amount of regulation in the economy is a good thing for the protection of workers and consumers.

    I don’t disagree. Workers and consumers are frequently the victim (I do hate that overworked word) of deliberate non-information or mis-information.

    As a homebuyer, I cannot pull off drywall to see if the house is really carrying the insulation the builder/seller claims. I then have to rely on government codes enforced by government inspectors

    which are notoriously lax and fraught with corruption (watch just about any Mike Holmes show)

    I’d rather see private companies step up to the plate on certifying standards — kind of like Underwriters Laboratories.

    The State, with its vast power to tax and destroy, should not be allowed a positive role in society. It has always proved the road to statism.

    Let them revert to their negative role and get out of the way.

  52. “pretty soon robots will be bringing us tasty foozle”

    Sounds like a call for automats to come back.

  53. This needs to be repeated often: money is not wealth. You can have lots of money and be poor as hell if the money has little value. If you have $70 million and that’s only halfway to being able to afford a used pick-up truck then someone with $70 million is not wealthy.

  54. What’s going to finish things off is that you have more and more people on the left side of the bell curve who lack the smarts and / or the drive to get any of the declining pool of jobs that require those things AND cannot be done by robots. So how are they going to survive?

    Simple, they still have the vote, so they will vote for the government to take your stuff for them.

    As long as we have a warm-body democracy we are doomed.

  55. Pingback: In The Mailbox, 03.17.15 : The Other McCain