A fee showing in the restaurant’s receipt sparks controversy related to Last November Colorado voters approved Amendment 70, which will incrementally raise the minimum wage in the state to $12 an hour by 2020. “We’re not a franchise,” says Lilith Marquez, the general manager at Corona’s Mexican Grill in Broomfield. “Family owned. We make all of our food from scratch.” When the law passed, the minimum wage was $8.31 an hour; on Jan. 1, it become $9.30 an hour. Tipped service employees, like restaurant servers, now make $6.28 an hour, set to rise to $8.98 by 2020.
Most restaurants would absorb the cost into its menu prices, but one restaurant wants you see it in black and white and general manager Lilith Marquez, who said that she wanted customers to “know where the increase on their bills came from.” Corona’s management estimates Amendment 70 will cost $185,000 this year at their three locations. It’s a cost now partially paid — directly, and transparently — by customers, who aren’t happy. “We’re not a franchise,” says Lilith Marquez, the general manager at Corona’s Mexican Grill in Broomfield. “Family owned. We make all of our food from scratch.” Marquez’s plight is printed on the door and the menus
“Dear customers, before you dine with us, please be advised that we have added a 10 percent service fee…” “We want to let you know you’re going to be charged this fee. There’s nothing we want to hide,” Marquez says. Chris Blakely is a customer at Corona’s. He tipped Next off to the fee, which is meant to cover the cost of Amendment 70, the ballot measure that increased the minimum wage 99 cents this year, and will make it 12 bucks an hour by 2020. “It seemed like it was kind of excessive to have to charge an extra 10 percent, just to come up with an extra dollar per hour for the employees,” Blakely said.
In November, Colorado passed A70, to increase the min wage. Saw this on a local restaurant door. “How dare you make us pay fair wages?” pic.twitter.com/W1U2TZN87Q
— Jalen (@AliahSilvermane) January 14, 2017
The Colorado Restaurant Association warned voters this could happen if restaurants that have a 3 to 6 percent profit margin are hit with an increase in the minimum wage. “Some restaurants are increasing prices, some are cutting staff, some are implementing a service charge and most are doing a variety of all of those things,” she said. “Unfortunately, just because of high property taxes, here just in this Broomfield location, the business is already struggling,” Marquez said. “(The increase) is not making up for the cost of payroll right now.” Marquez said if the increase wasn’t made, they would have been forced to close the place. The restaurant will replace the fee with higher menu prices across the board next month.
Photo Credit: Twitter/Jalen
Video Credit: 9News