Last December, the final phase of increasing the minimum wage in New York City to $15 per hour went into effect. (Well, at least the last stage for now.) It was considered a huge victory for the Fight for 15 crowd and, presumably, a big win for workers, particularly in the foodservice industry. So how has that been working out since then? As the New York Post reported this weekend, the law of unintended consequences has come roaring into play. They feature the story of one taco and tequila joint on the upper west side that’s been doing a thriving business for a quarter of a century. But now it’s all coming to an end, and they’re far from the only restaurant feeling these effects.
Big Apple restaurants are feeling the heat from minimum-wage hikes, cutting staff hours and even closing kitchens as they struggle to shoulder the extra payroll costs.
Gabriela’s Restaurant and Tequila Bar, a margarita and taco staple on the Upper West Side for the past 25 years, is closing at the end of September — and it has been a long, painful road downhill, according to its mom-and-pop owners.
Since the $15-an-hour minimum wage hit New York City in December, Liz and Nat Milner say, they’ve been forced to slash their full- and part-time staff to 45 people from 60. Quality has suffered, they admit, and customers have noticed: They’re not coming in like they used to, and when they do, they’re spending less.
What happened to Gabriela’s Restaurant and Tequila Bar is a sobering tale for the entire industry. If only somebody had warned the city that this was going to happen.
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — San Francisco is known as a haven for good food, but restaurants in the city are increasingly finding it hard to stay open.
On the Embarcadero, 26-year-old Palomino, once known for its popular happy hour, has just closed its doors. Three restaurants near Oracle Park — Pete’s Tavern, Pedro’s Cantina and Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria — have also closed, according to Hoodline. And in the Mission District, the owner of Dosa is also closing its original location on Valencia Street after 15 years.
“It was a combination of a lot of different things,” Dosa CEO Anjan Mitra told ABC7 News. “It seemed like the perfect storm that hit us, hit the restaurant industry.”