Just as predicted, the $15 minimum wage is killing vulnerable city small businesses, with the low-margin restaurant industry one of the hardest-hit as it also faces a separate mandatory wage hike for tipped staffers.
In Sunday’s Post, Jennifer Gould Keil reported on the death of Gabriela’s Restaurant and Tequila Bar — closing after 25 years. It struggled all year to find a way out, gradually laying off most non-tipped employees, including some chefs, only to find that quality suffered and customers fled. Owners Liz and Nat Milner finally hung it up.
Other eateries share the pain. In an August survey of its members, the NYC Hospitality Alliance found more than three-quarters have had to cut employee hours, more than a third eliminated jobs last year and half plan to cut staff this year.
“It’s death by a thousand cuts,” the Hospitality Alliance’s Andrew Rigie told The Post, since “there’s only so many times you can increase the price of a burger and a bowl of pasta.”
All this is fine with the union organizers behind the “fight for $15” and the elimination of the tipped-wages system: They don’t care about any job, or any business, that doesn’t play ball with organized labor. Mom-and-pop shops can go to hell.
Plainly, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature, who are passing the laws the unions want, don’t care much, either. For shame.