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The bold legislation, 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 staff who confronted vital threat throughout the pandemic. To opponents, it’s a cataclysmic transfer that may elevate meals costs, result in job losses and drive some franchisees to contemplate closing.

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

Mr. Bynum has, lately, raised costs to attempt to keep revenue margins — and every time, he stated, he has seen a drop in clients. That, in flip, pressured painful choices about chopping staffing and trimming hours.

The brand new minimal wage will add $3,000 to $4,000 to his month-to-month bills, he stated, 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, typically taking the bus after which driving his hybrid bike the remainder of the best way to the restaurant. Mr. Reyes, 35, stated the constant pay raises by 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 improve will assist him, Mr. Reyes, who has labored in quick meals for a lot of his life, stated he feared that earlier than lengthy, jobs would turn out to be extra aggressive and tougher to maintain.

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