Steve Danon: Tuesday, July 16, 2019

One Size Does Not Fit All

Doubling the Minimum Wage to $15 Would Stifle Small Family-Owned Restaurants

Steve Danon

Senior Vice President of Public Affairs at the National Restaurant Association


Congress recently introduced legislation titled the “Raise the Wage Act” (H.R. 582/S.150) that would increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 per hour by 2024 and would index it to median wage growth thereafter eliminating the tip credit. $15 in New York is not $15 in Alabama so a “one size fits all” approach to this issue could severely cripple restaurants leading to job losses, shift reductions and even closings. The bill also eliminates the tip credit where current tipped employees average $19-$25 per hour.  If the tip credit ends, employees will likely earn less than now.

The economic realities of each state should be examined especially in areas where workers do not face the cost of living they do in major cities.  Passing a $15 per hour starting wage in rural areas would have stifling impacts to restaurants and other small businesses who can’t absorb it.  Higher wages would lead to employers cutting back on workers’ hours and/or eliminating positions, thereby hurting those it was intended to help.  Additionally, when labor costs rise, employers in labor-intensive industries such as restaurants are forced to raise menu prices to maintain profitability, thereby driving up consumer costs.

On Tuesday July 16th Senior VP at the National Restaurant Association Steve Danon is available to you and your listeners to discuss HR 582 and its devastating effects on small, family-owned restaurants and their employees who would face higher labor costs and possibly forced to reduce employee hours. He’ll also give some common-sense tips to the minimum wage issue that reflects the economic realities of the different regions of the U.S.

Did You Know?                                                                                        1

  • As many as 3.7 million jobs could be lost if HR 582 is enacted.
  • A recent University of New Hampshire survey finds that nearly three quarters of US-based economists oppose a federal minimum wage of $15 per hour.
  • Most of these economists assert the $15 per hour minimum wage will negatively impact youth employment levels, adult employment levels, and the number of jobs available.
  • The majority also believe it would make it harder for small businesses with fewer than 50 employees to stay in business.

For more information please go to 



Steve Danon is senior vice president of public affairs at the National Restaurant Association.  He oversees the National Restaurant Association’s outreach to the House of Representatives and Senate, state and local advocacy, grassroots, Restaurant PAC, Restaurant Advocacy Fund, public policy initiatives, and advocacy communications.

1 Congressional Budget Office report released on July 8, 2019

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