• Thanks, Gov’t! Sacramento Restaurants Packing It In; Citing Minimum Wage Hike

    Surge Summary: An impending, government-required minimum wage increase is forcing some California restaurants to shut their doors. Costs have become simply too prohibitive for these enterprises to keep hanging in there. Employers, employees and patrons will suffer as a result.

    A number of Sacramento restaurants — some of them in operation for decades — are closing up shot as the new year approaches. The reason? California’s looming minimum wage increase.

    Breck Dumas at The Blaze fills in the details:

    On Jan. 1, 2020, California’s minimum wage will rise to $13 per hour for businesses that employ 26 workers or more, and $12 per hour for business with fewer workers. By 2023, minimum wage in the state will be mandated at $15 an hour.

    In short, for restaurateurs wanting to do business in the Golden State? No escape.

    Several restaurateurs in Sacramento have crunched the numbers on how the increased labor costs will impact operations, and have determined they can no longer sustain themselves.

    In a report this week, Sacramento’s  KMAX-TV profiled the stories of some of these shuttering “institutions”:

    “California is a rough state to do small business,” Paul Fraga told the outlet. “They want everybody to make $20 an hour, but for the smaller guy, I can’t afford that.”

    Fraga owned Perry’s restaurant along Highway 99, a place that — until Sunday — served diners for 30 years. One customer who showed up for her last meal at Perry’s told KMAX, “It’s really sad just thinking about this. It’s an institution. This is a Sacramento institution.”

    Another local television station, KXTV-TV, disclosed last month that the “iconic” Fat City Bar in Sacramento’s historic downtown similarly decided to throw in the towel after 43 years of service. Owner Jerry Fat’s explanation is that it was purely a business decision.

    “We’ve had a great ride,” he told KXTV. “But due to the steady decline in Old Sacramento business, coupled with rising costs and increased competition for those shrinking dollars, we made the decision to close.”

    Phil Courey ‘s Greek restaurant Opa! Opa! has served the Sacramento area for 14 years. He didn’t hesitate informing KTXL-TV in November he’d be closing up shop in mid-December because of the anticipated minimum wage.

    “Most of our margins have been consumed by the minimum wage pressures,” Courey said.

    This is the work of California’s absurd economic policies — a shameful, near criminal outrage.

    The community’s response was to beg the eatery to stay open for a little longer. Courey agreed, saying he’d “take this through the holidays for my staff.”

    Opa! Opa! will close Dec. 29. for the last time. Courey told KMAX, “We close our doors one-by-one. Perry’s after 50 years, today Fat City and others…you’ll see a few more closing just after the first of the year.”

    And it’s nearly all avoidable – if Gov. Gavin Newsom and his dirigiste cronies would just leave the market, and business owners, alone. If they did, they’d find their state’s economic condition would generally find its own balance. Some would still lose out, mind you. Many others would thrive. The ill-considered policies and meddling of the State apparatus, however, would not be responsible for either outcome.

    Is the Golden State a forerunner of things to come westward across the continent? A harbinger of the future for Nevada and Kansas and Michigan and Florida and Massachusetts business owners?


    Breck Dumas/The Blaze

    Image: Creative Commons; CC by 2.0; Adapted from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/timetrax/376143268

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