By Julia Rock and Andrew Perez, The Daily Poster On 4/5/21 at 6:00 AM EDT
Big restaurant chains are telling investors that a national minimum wage hike wouldn’t be a big dealeven as their corporate lobbying groups in Washington fight plans for a $15 minimum wage.
“We share your view that a national discussion on wage issues for working Americans is neededbut the Raise the Wage Act is the wrong bill at the wrong time for our nation’s restaurants,” the National Restaurant Association wrote in a letter to congressional leaders in February. “The restaurant industry and our workforce will suffer from a fast-tracked wage increase and elimination of the tip credit.”
The following day, a top executive at Denny’s, one of the association’s members, told investors that gradual increases in the minimum wage haven’t been a problem for the company at all. In fact, California’s law raising the minimum wage to $15 by 2023 has actually been good for the diner chain’s business, according to Denny’s chief financial officer, Robert Verostek.
“As they’ve increased their minimum wage kind of in a tempered pace over that time frame, if you look at that time frame from us, California has outperformed the system,” Verostek said on an earnings call. “Over that time frame, they had six consecutive years of positive guest trafficnot just positive sales, but positive guest trafficas the minimum wage was going up.”…………………….