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The formidable regulation, which supporters hope to see replicated nationwide, has been characterised by opposing sides in stark phrases. To backers, it’s a step towards truthful compensation for low-wage employees who confronted important threat through the pandemic. To opponents, it’s a cataclysmic transfer that can increase meals costs, result in job losses and power some franchisees to think about closing.

“Folks don’t perceive that when wages rise, so do the costs,” Mr. Bynum mentioned.

Mr. Bynum has, lately, raised costs to attempt to preserve revenue margins — and every time, he mentioned, he has seen a drop in prospects. That, in flip, compelled painful choices about reducing staffing and trimming hours.

The brand new minimal wage will add $3,000 to $4,000 to his month-to-month bills, he mentioned, and whereas he hopes to maintain all eight of his staff, he doesn’t know if he could make the numbers add up.

One worker, Josue Reyes, has labored on the restaurant on and off over the previous decade.

He works the night shift, usually taking the bus after which driving his hybrid bike the remainder of the way in which to the restaurant. Mr. Reyes, 35, mentioned the constant pay raises by way of the years — he now makes $16 an hour — had helped him considerably. He places a lot of his paycheck towards aiding his mom pay the hire at their trailer park and tries to save lots of the place he can.

Whereas one other pay enhance will assist him, Mr. Reyes, who has labored in quick meals for a lot of his life, mentioned he feared that earlier than lengthy, jobs would develop into extra aggressive and tougher to maintain.

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