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Restaurant Adds 'Minimum Wage Fee'

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STILLWATER, Minn. (KMSP) -- An incremental minimum wage increase took effect in Minnesota last Friday, and Oasis Café in Stillwater tacked on a separate “min wage fee” on the bill to show guests what they're paying for.

The receipt was posted to the Oasis Cafe Facebook page by a friend of a customer who dined there, shaming the 35 cents denoted below the subtotal and tax lines. Amanda Gutierrez argues that by the “min wage fee” being so visible, servers are made out to look like the “bad guys.” She also added she won't ever be dining at the establishment.

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Wow! You couldn't just increase your prices by 35 cents for two meals? Don't you wonder how that makes your employees feel, making them look like the bad guys to their customers. Shame on you. (For the record, I took this photo off a friend's FB page. I wasn't a customer there, nor will I ever be now.)

Oasis Cafe responded on Facebook, confirming the increase in labor cost has to be offset by an increase in revenue in order for the restaurant to profit.

With regards to why we're charging a $.35 fee to cover the recent $.75 increase in minimum wage…we estimate the increase in labor cost will will cost our company more than $10,000 per year…which has to be offset by an increase in revenue in order to operate profitably. Rather than increase the prices of our menu items, we chose to charge a flat fee. If the state of Minnesota would pass tip credit, like 43 other states have done, none of this would be necessary. For what it's worth, we pay our people very well. Our dishwashers start at $10/hour, our cooks start at $12/hour and our servers average more than $20 when you consider what they earn in tips.

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