Restaurant owner passes the buck to customers to cover minimum wage increase

Restaurant owner passes the buck to customers to cover minimum wage increase
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A restaurant in Minnesota is attempting to offset the state's 75 cent minimum wage hike by tacking a 35 cent fee to each bill.

Oasis Cafe owner Craig Beemer says that instead of raising meal prices when the minimum wage went up Aug. 1, he decided to introduce the minimum wage fee, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. With six servers, Beemer said it will cost $10,000 more a year to pay them $8 an hour instead of $7.25, thus making the fee necessary.

Diner Jean Murra noticed the charge on the bottom of her receipt, and told CNN Money she "was shocked," and would have preferred the menu prices to go up a few cents, rather than have the fee on the receipt "to make a political statement."

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Murra's not alone, and the restaurant has been inundated with angry customers who don't feel it's right to have to pay for the new wage. Manager Colin Orcutt told the Star Tribune he's "shocked" by the reaction, and stands behind his boss. "We're all appalled at the response for just protecting his employees," he said. "We're just doing what we have to do."

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