New York’s new $15 minimum wage and mandatory leave benefits – dutifully parroted by Minneapolis and Saint Paul – are already having…
…well, exactly the effect conservatives predicted:
In explaining his decision to close following 28 years of high-volume business, owner Charles Milite told the New York Post, “The times have changed in our industry. The rents are very high and now the minimum wage is going up and we have a huge number of employees.”
Milite employs about 150 people at his breakfast, lunch, and dinner operation, which also puts him over the Affordable Care Act’s costly mandate that establishments with 50 or more employees provide health insurance.
The Coffee Shop is part of The Gotham City Restaurant Group, which also owns Flats Fix, the former employer of socialist darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The 28-year-old Democratic congressional candidate recently told The New York Times that many of her fellow restaurant workers were uninsured, inspiring her to run for office.
And the inevitable end result?
Eventually, minimum wage laws and other prohibitive regulations will cause the world-renowned restaurant life in cities like New York, DC, and San Francisco to cease to exist. The staff skill levels will drop, the number of servers and bartenders will never be enough, and the only survivors will be fast-casual chains with low overhead and deep pockets.
New York’s new look will be vacant storefronts between an occasional Pret-a-Manger or the public restroom formerly known as Starbucks. But don’t worry. That charming, downtown studio apartment will still run about $5,000 per month for the privilege of proximity to all that culture.
Minneapolis and Saint Paul’s efforts to be little New Yorks will no doubt pay off – in all the wrong ways.