If you are reading this note, you have likely been to one of our restaurants and have seen the 2% surcharge funding the Mayor’s Wage Equity Surcharge (WES). After months of our team working together to craft the best plan for us to handle the wage increase, we felt the most competitive and least intrusive is to implement a surcharge equal to the increase in wages until all restaurants in Seattle are on the same playing field.That's from Tom Douglas, one of Seattle's most successful restaurateurs, who is classified as a large employer. So he's been put at a competitive disadvantage by Seattle's new minimum wage law, as of April Fool's Day.
With their plan, the Mayor and City Council have decided that restaurants of our size should pay approximately 10% more per hour for servers, bartenders, host and bussers than any of my contemporaries. Just on raw talent it’s hard enough to compete with amazing Seattle restaurateurs like Ethan Stowell, Matt Dillon, Renee Erickson and Thierry Rautureau. Now I get to pay millions more in labor cost on top of it.But his liberal customers (most of whom voted for the politicians who instituted the increase) didn't want to hear it;
You spoke and I’ve listened. Since posting my comments on 3/31 I have had many people tell me that they would prefer a clear picture of the debate and not my political comments that were unnecessarily snarky and snippy. I agree with you and have reframed my blog post to just the facts.
At the same time we are immediately removing the 2% wage equality surcharge we instituted on 4/1 so near future labor increases will be reconciled in the menu price increases as many of you have suggested you would prefer.No economics please, we're Seattleites.