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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 23, 2014 at 7:05 PM

$15 minimum wage would result in reduced server wages, quality of service

Paul Tong / Op Art

I’m a college-educated fine-dining restaurant server in Seattle. I oppose a $15-per-hour wage [“$15 wage — and tips, too?” Page One, April 21].

I feel it’s already too high as it is — evident in the high prices you find on your menu items to cover the cost. Restaurants operating on a 4 percent profit margin flat-out can’t afford a 32 percent increase in labor costs. To recoup this increased wage, my restaurant has said it would need to add a “service charge” that it could then put toward the increased labor costs.

I would work just as hard somy employer can afford to pay everyone else, and ultimately make substantially less in the end. I would be taking a 70 percent cut in my pay (including tips).

This will sink Seattle’s thriving restaurant culture. Fortunately, for me, I have many years of experience and I’ll be able to find a job outside of Seattle. Any server worth his or her weight would follow suit.

So many doors would close, real living wage jobs would be lost and overall quality of service would tank.

Shane Savery, Seattle

Comments | More in minimum wage | Topics: Minimum Wage, Restaurants, service industry

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