Julian Gallardo was angry after dining at Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza in San Diego and discovering that the bill for his meal included an extra tax that he had not been informed about previously. Following his meal, the restaurant charged him an additional $3 to compensate for an increase in California’s minimum wage.
Though Julian appreciated his lunch and the service that accompanied it, the additional payment – which had not been disclosed by the personnel – threw a pall over his whole evening. Even though the price was just $3, Gallardo felt duped since he was not notified about the addition to his bill in advance.
The additional fee that certain California restaurants are asking their customers has been nicknamed the “California Mandate,” and it was implemented to “assist offset the cost of higher labor expenditures caused by the recent minimum wage increase.” So, if you’re dining in California, keep a watch out for it on your next bill, particularly when the minimum wage rises and more restaurants follow suit.
According to the California Department of Industrial Relations, the state’s minimum wage rises incrementally each year and will reach $15 per hour in 2023. When it was originally adopted, this was a popular policy, however perceptions have started to alter now that the expense of the program is being passed on to the customer.
The fee works better than raising prices and helps balance higher operational expenditures, said David Cohn, CEO of Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza owner Cohn Restaurant Group. It’s something that’s happening all around the country.”
When the idea of raising California’s minimum wage was discussed, there was instant pushback from activist organizations and labor unions. Jessica Yaez, campaign manager for Restaurant Opportunities Center United, issued a statement in support of increasing the minimum wage.
They’re attempting to do away with the two-tiered minimum wage, she explained. It’s not just about the money, it’s about the bizarre work circumstances that result from working for tips. Gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and the inability to arrange ones life around a budget like any other working person.
The more restaurant patrons who grow acclimated to the new premium, the more likely it is that the California Mandate will become typical in other eateries. If other states follow California’s lead and raise their minimum wage, we may see this legislation spread even farther. Therefore, when it comes to raising the minimum wage, California will either serve as an example or a cautionary story, and the entire nation will be observing the result.