A recent tweet from former editorial colleague Drew Cline was tongue-in-cheek and also to the point: “If only there were a vast trove of previous research that could have predicted this.”
He was referring to yet another report that restaurants respond to minimum wage hikes by raising prices, cutting hours and eliminating positions.
The study noted that in states where the minimum wage was recently increased, the response in the restaurant industry, which hires the most unskilled workers, was not good for the workers.
While 23 percent of the operators carried on as usual, more than 70 percent raised prices.
Nearly half of the operators reworked their food and beverage options to reduce costs.
But cutting costs also meant cutting jobs. Sixty-four percent said they reduced employee hours; 43 percent eliminated some jobs altogether.
A bill in the state legislature would increase the minimum wage in New Hampshire. It is now set at the federal minimum. But with so many businesses desperate for workers, the private market may be the better way to increase pay at any level.