Good news for workers, but bad news for restaurant owners across the state of Washington, as the state’s Department of Labor and Industries announced a 5.9% minimum wage hike. Setting the bar at $8.55 per hour, the state-mandated minimum wage, which will go into affect on January 1st, looks to have a great impact on restaurants and food service businesses from Seattle to Spokane. While line workers and dishwashers are cheering, restaurant owners, already suffering in a troubled economy, are understandably concerned about the financial impact.
“This is the time for steady leadership and an understanding of the issues crippling our small business statewide,” said Anthony Anton, president and chief executive of the WRA. “Without strong leadership, we could find restaurants closing their doors and employees being laid off.”
While Washington’s minimum wage has steadily increased each year, the federal minimum wage remains at a dismal $6.55 per hour, with plans to increase to $7.25 by next July.