How Restaurants Are Surviving Higher Minimum Wages

 

diner_waitress_wage.0.jpgFor chef Nelson German, running a fulfilling restaurant meant full-service dining: It didn’t feel right unless there were hosts at the door and servers whisking entrees from the kitchen to the dining room. When it came time to open his own business — Cajun-influenced Oakland, California, seafood restaurant AlaMar — in 2014, he made sure it operated with the same attentive-service environment that he had grown accustomed to working in. But all that changed in December 2016, when the restaurant announced rather abruptly that it would be doing away with all the formalities of full-service dining in favor of a counter-service format. The root of the radical service change: minimum wage hikes.

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