BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Minimum wage in New York State increased to $13.20 Friday, but many restaurants say they already pay more than that to employees.
Inside Bob & John’s on Hertel, pizza is hot fresh and ready. Even though the business has been good, owner Tom Hazelet says it’s hard to retain and hire employees.
“Some are working, and some are staying home and getting paid by the government,” said Tom Hazelet, owner of Bob & Johns.
He says his business is not unique to having to pay workers more than $15.00 an hour to work.
Friday, the minimum wage goes up slightly from $12.50 to 13.20. Hazelet says the change won’t make much of a difference for the employees at his restaurant, but will for the customer.
“It trickles down to the pizzas and subs and stuff because you have to stay open to make some sort of profit,” he said.
Down the street at Avenue Pizza and Pasta on Hertel, Owner David Morganti says many of his 20 employees have been with the business a long time.
“We don’t just pay minimum wage anyways,” Morganti says. “Everyone’s starting around $15.00 hour these days, so that’s basically where we’re at.”
Morganti says he’s not against the price hike—it’s all about staying competitive in today’s tough job market.
“I want to keep them happy I certainly don’t want to see them walk away for 2 bucks more somewhere,” he said.
He says like everything else there have been price hikes this year, including the rising increase in chicken wing prices which he says tacks on at least a dollar on every order.