The formidable regulation, which supporters hope to see replicated nationwide, has been characterised by opposing sides in stark phrases. To backers, it’s a step towards honest compensation for low-wage employees who confronted vital danger throughout the pandemic. To opponents, it’s a cataclysmic transfer that can increase meals costs, result in job losses and power some franchisees to contemplate closing.

“Individuals don’t perceive that when wages rise, so do the costs,” Mr. Bynum stated.

Mr. Bynum has, in recent times, raised costs to attempt to keep revenue margins — and every time, he stated, he has observed a drop in clients. That, in flip, pressured painful choices about chopping staffing and trimming hours.

The brand new minimal wage will add $3,000 to $4,000 to his month-to-month bills, he stated, and whereas he hopes to maintain all eight of his workers, he doesn’t know if he could make the numbers add up.

One worker, Josue Reyes, has labored on the restaurant on and off over the previous decade.

He works the night shift, usually taking the bus after which driving his hybrid bike the remainder of the best way to the restaurant. Mr. Reyes, 35, stated the constant pay raises via the years — he now makes $16 an hour — had helped him considerably. He places a lot of his paycheck towards helping his mom pay the lease at their trailer park and tries to save lots of the place he can.

Whereas one other pay enhance will assist him, Mr. Reyes, who has labored in quick meals for a lot of his life, stated he feared that earlier than lengthy, jobs would turn out to be extra aggressive and more durable to maintain.

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