A reader sent Bluestem the photograph of a tab from a restaurant in the east metro, to which a "minimum wage fee" of thirty-five cents has been tacked on to a fifteen dollar tab.
Update 2 8/5/2014: More on the backstory of this tale in our latest, Stillwater cafe charging "minimum wage fee" was part of failed industry effort for "tip credit." It's fascinating to watch the right now try to spin this failed lobbying into the notion that people "don't want to pay" for increased costs. What nonsense--it's the pettiness of the public relations stunt, after failing to make the case before the legislature in 2013-2014, that makes the fee leave a bad taste in people's mouths.
Update: Tony Webster tweeted what looks to be where our reader found the photo. Follow through to the discussion on the Oasis Cafe's Facebook page:
Shameful: Oasis Café in Stillwater appears to have been adding 35¢ “minimum wage fee” on restaurant checks https://t.co/nJRbLur9PK— Tony Webster (@webster) August 4, 2014
Let us emphasis the "tacky" in tacked-on petty resistance.
The restaurant industry had tried--but failed--to make the case to the Minnesota legislature for a "tip credit" system under which wait staff could be paid less than the new minimum wage. New legislation raised the state's minimum wage to $8.00/hr on August 1, with new raises for workers until the wage is $9.50/hr in August 2016.
In June, Governor Dayton created a kerfuffle when the Rochester Post Bulletin reported that his sons made a strong case for such a change in the new law; the statement was later clarified as the administration rapidly walked it back.
For reasons why the case for the tip credit failed to being with, we recommend trying to follow one advocate's testimony at Lobbyist thinks BSP post "one of the stupidest articles I have read," wants to buy us a drink.
That presentation, however, is statesman-like compared to this pettiness, and we have to wonder how many others will reflect, as we did, that thirty-five cents split between two diners at breakfast is too great a burden in the effort to make work pay.
Photo: We've redacted the name of the resturant (which is also part of the pancake name) for this tab, as well as the name of the server.
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