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Legislation gaining support to help bring back more restaurant workers

Moriarty Meats Cafe
Posted at 6:44 PM, Feb 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-25 18:44:30-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The restaurant industry has been among the hardest hit during the pandemic, but now there's new legislation in the state assembly to help understaffed restaurants.

The Restaurant Wages Bill would create relief for restaurants that are transitioning toward paying their employees higher wages. It would serve as a companion to the One Fair Wage Legislation and give restaurant employees full minimum wage with tips on top.

Since the start of COVID-19 nearly one million employees in the U.S. have left the restaurant industry, New York had the highest rate of any state according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"In order to get those people back in and want to stay in that field, I believe we need to up things especially with minimum wage," said Matthew Prochnow of Hatchets & Hops Buffalo.

Hatchets & Hops was recently named on a list of New York eateries paying staff full minimum wage with tips on top. Moriarty Meats Cafe is also on that list.

Since the start of COVID-19 nearly one million employees in the U.S. have left the restaurant industry, New York had the highest rate of any state according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Prochnow said more than 90% of its employees are part-time. Flexible schedules and pay above minimum wage is what Prochnow said has attracted staff members.