Minimum Wage

Brickbat: No Pizza For You


Jakob Dettner

Ritu Shah Burnham says she doesn't want to close her pizza shop. But she says Seattle's new $15 an hour minimum wage makes it impossible for her to make a profit. She'll close the shop in August, leaving 12 employees without a job.

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  1. The director of Now Seattle, which rallied for the minimum wage, had no comment, only saying “Restaurants open and close all the time, for various reasons.”

    “In this instance, I just happen to be the reason.”

    1. Why should the EPA,FDA,OSHA, etc… get to have all the fun?

    2. OK. The restaurant business is hard to succeed in. So let’s make it a little bit harder.

  2. Clearly a wrecker ?and? a kulak.

    1. Godammnfucking wreckers and kulaks, every last goddamn one of “em!!

      1. I see you both left out “hoarders”…interesting

        *clicks ball point pen, makes note*


  3. Good riddance- it was probably chock full of GMOs and Monsanto stuff.

    1. Or deep-dish

      1. Curry and paneer deep-dish with Naan crust.

      2. I could only wish. What I wouldn’t do to get my hands on some good deep dish in Seattle.


      1. Save some of it, and have great potential for keeping some of it from going blind?

        I mean, if you care about that stuff…

        1. FRANKENFOODZ!!!11!1eleventy!!oneoneone!11


          1. NEVER go peak derp. Never.

  4. I didn’t RTA but did she work out what her price increase would need to be to stay in business (either dependent or independent of demand?)

    1. article mentions that since the $11 min wage hike:

      “I’ve let one person go since April 1, I’ve cut hours since April 1, I’ve taken them myself because I don’t pay myself. I’ve also raised my prices a little bit. Yeah, there’s no other way to do it,” she said.

  5. You mean higher labor costs effect businesses?What about that pot of gold this women must have some where?Can’t she just dip into that?

    1. It’s actually a swimming pool full of gold. Pots are for peasants.

      1. Us folks down in the 99 percentile don’t even have a pot to piss in.
        I blame Bush and the kulak-one-percenter like this Rita.

    2. I am reliably informed by leftist internet commenters that all company profits after paying workers just go into overseas tax shelters.

  6. You watch; as these become more common, any business owner who dares to go public about his need to lay off workers or close shop due to high costs imposed by government fiat (health care, min wage increases,etc.) they will be bullied and destroyed in public forums just as has happened with others recently.

    1. Well,this place sells pizza , it’s not a healthy food you see.This keeps people from eating ‘bad’ food.It’s for the children..

    2. I don’t think that will happen. For a few reasons.

      For one thing, it will work in arguments calling for more government support programs. I’m sure it’s somehow the fault of big corporations that these businesses are failing. And as regards healthcare, it makes a useful argument for single payer.
      The businesses in these cases will often be pretty sympathetic to lefty types. And at least some people have a realistic enough view of things that they can at least understand that you can’t pay people with money that you don’t have (unless you are the government, of course).

  7. I don’t see how she can know that increased labor costs will detroy her profits – she just needs to raise her prices to cover the increase. Seattlites knew when they voted for the higher minimum wage that it would raise prices and they will be happy to pay the higher prices. To the extent that the higher prices for pizza affect them, they can just get raises of their own to offset the increase. Their employers will raise their own prices to offset their own new, higher labor costs, of course, but if the general wage level goes up 10% and the general price level goes up 10% that means everybody is 10% better off. Who could be against that?

    1. Do I need to recallibrate my sarc meter?

      1. Only if it didn’t peg on that one 🙂

    2. “Who could be against that?”

      Only people who are good at math, and they’re just nerds so who cares.

  8. How selfish, when she could have just reached into her stash to pay her employees.

    1. Then she’d be kicked outta the greedy CEOs club, duh!

  9. The article said she raised her prices ‘a little bit’. Wonder how much that is.

    $15/hr does indeed work out to about 30k a year.

    1. $30K a year, for unskilled, entry-level workers. What could possibly go wrong?

      1. My first job out of college: I tought middle school math and science, 4 different subjects, obviously needed a degree. Made $21k. This was 2007 and it was for 10 months of the year, but still, these are entry level pizza workers. Like, high schoolers.

    2. The incremental ($11 to $15) @40hr/wk is $100K. Assuming that the shop is open 7 days, she needs to recover about $275 per day. Hard to put that on a unit (slice) basis as we don’t know how many pies they make or what other food they sell. A rough guess would be 75c slice once the increase is fully implemented. As competitors also suffer the same, the real question is will customers stop or reduce their pizza consumption.

      I think a deeper look would find the business is already marginal and this is just a convenient excuse to close up.

      1. It was marginal. Now it’s no longer profitable. Those are the businesses (and jobs) that get killed by this shit. No need for a deeper look.

  10. “The director of Now Seattle, which rallied for the minimum wage, had no comment, only saying “Restaurants open and close all the time, for various reasons.”

    Or as one stoically arrogant bureaucrat once said, ‘another business will take its place.’

    Of course they do. Not all people are unproductive parasitical boobs. The point is, they don’t see in the meantime the damage that causes to an economy – let alone a family and community.

    1. The pizza delivery places just outside the city borders must be delighted.

  11. Let’s not forget the hidden victims of this wage increase: like alt-text

  12. Perhaps Reason could have their next Seattle meet-up at Ms. Burnham’s establishment. It might provide good material for an article, with the added benefit of giving some much needed dough to the owner before she has to close shop.

    1. Tip big.

  13. Small businesses in the city have up to six more years to phase in the new $15 an hour minimum wage.

    Or else.

  14. Exhibit 349,657,224 under “laws are magic” to progressives. Reality, meanwhile, is flexible.

    1. Reality, meanwhile, is flexible.

      Reality is whatever the Party says it is.

      1. I see four lights.

        Or three, or five. Whatever you want, really.


  15. If a pizza shortage doesn’t get proggies attention, what will?

      1. To me, a tofu crisis is when there is some.

        I don’t think that’s what you meant, though.

      2. an awful but workable band name, especially if it’s a free jazz combo with a yodeling female singer

    1. Flax seed and oil of oregano.

    2. Kale shortage.

  16. The legislation was not intended to cause any businesses to close, so this is obviously a failure of the free market.

  17. Why doesn’t she just take more gold coins out of her swimming pool to pay her workers?


  18. Those twelve workers are no longer have to be exploited receiving substandard pay, obviously this is a net win for the living wage advocates.

  19. She’s obviously lying. Krugman and other left-wing economists have clearly stated that a higher minimum wage will not cause people to be laid off.

    1. They can go live at his house. He won’t mind.

  20. I noticed this business owner is a female minority. Why is Seattle racist and sexist?

    1. She’s only female if she supports the DNC. Otherwise she’s a non-person.

  21. Related:

    Progressive Businessman Supported Minimum Wage Hike ? Then THIS Happened

    Brian Hibbs, a self-proclaimed progressive, is the owner of Comix Experience in San Francisco.

    When his city overwhelmingly passed the minimum wage increase which went into effect May 1, he was on board, believing the liberal song and dance about a “living wage.”

    However, after actually doing the math, Hibbs has changed his tune. Big time.

    “I was appalled! My jaw dropped. Eighty-thousand a year! I didn’t know that. I thought we were talking a small amount of money, something I could absorb,” he said.

    1. Math is hard

    2. How did own a business without even considering how that would effect his bottom line? How did he not have at least a general notion of how much of his gross would be going to the new wage level?

  22. I make up to $90 an hour working from my home. My story is that I quit working at Walmart to work online and with a little effort I easily bring in around $40h to $86h? Someone was good to me by sharing this link with me, so now i am hoping i could help someone else out there by sharing this link… Try it, you won’t regret it!……

  23. I suggest she post a very large sign “Prices increased due to $15 min wage law” and raise her prices as needed. See what happens. Maybe folks would get the message.

  24. My roomate’s sister makes $65 hourly on the laptop . She has been laid off for six months but last month her payment was $16050 just working on the laptop for a few hours.
    check out the post right here ????????????

  25. Hey, those employees are being freed from job lock and will collect unemployment, which Nancy Pelosi tells us is good for the economy. See, raising the minimum wage is even better than you thought! [/sarcasm]

  26. If the plural of anecdote is “data” and you have exactly one anecdote to argue from, what do you have?

    Chipotle is hiring.
    Yard House is hiring.
    Rosita’s Mexican Food is hiring.
    The Edgewater Hotel is hiring.
    Lloyd Martin is hiring.
    Up and down the restaurant scale, there are places hiring. And, one place is saying they had to close because of the law. OHMIGOD!!!!! One place closed!

  28. Proggies conveniently fail to mention that a wage increase (minimum or otherwise) carries with it other “hidden” labor costs, created by other progressive programs. There’s the roughly 7.5% for employer portion of SS& Medicaid, unemployment insurance as a percentage of wages, and workers’ comp which varies among industries. In the case of a pizza joint could be 20 cents on the dollar, while some construction trades are 40 or 50 cents on the dollar. So a $6 increase in the wage could actually come to a $9 an hour increase after all the other bullshit is accounted for.

  29. Wait a second, this a minimum WAGE law. There’s no law about how much the owners of the business can collect. Make it a cooperative and structure it so that the cooperative owes a lot of money to the person who actually finances the business. Then some sort of proviso in the loan contracts that say you only owe a certain percentage of sales at most. Viola, you have an effective wage contract that can be set at any level you want.

    1. Tell that to the unions who want a carve out for union businesses.

  30. Well, if it’s any consolation if they kept their jobs they’d have a “living wage.” They should be happy about that. Now the gov’t gets 12 more people to put under it’s iron fist.

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