Yeah, I’d say that about sums this story up. Magic Pony Economics (MPE) in real life.
It is admirable that this business owner wants to pay his people more. I respect that deeply. He didn’t even have to, yet. But the reality is that a minimum wage which is mandated (as it soon will be in Cali) which is far out of line with what the market will pay for a wage only results in disaster. One can not just wish something to be.
Even though businesses with less than 56 workers are exempt from the $14.44 rate and do not have to raise their wages to $15 until 2018, Vic Gumper, who owns Lanesplitter Pizza, with outlets in Berkeley, Oakland, Albany and Emeryville, decided not only to bite the bullet but swallow it, paying his workers $15 to $25 an hour while eschewing tips or raising prices.
He advertised his $30 pizzas and other food items as “sustainably served, really … no tips necessary,” according to the Los Angeles Times.Sales at Gumper’s locations have plunged 25% in the last few months, forcing Gumper’s to close during lunch hours at some locations.
Gumper admitted, “The necessity of paying people a living wage in the Bay Area is clear, so it’s hard to argue against it, and it’s something I’m really proud to be able to try doing. At the same time, I’m terrified of going out of business after 18 years.”