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California restaurant owner worries $20 wage hike could threaten business: Raise prices or shut down



Last Updated on April 16, 2024 by Robert C. Hoopes

In a recent interview with Justin Foronda, owner of HiFi Kitchen in Filipinotown, Los Angeles, he expressed his concerns about California’s newly implemented $20 minimum wage law. Foronda fears that this law could potentially force him and his employees out of business.

Facing the challenges brought on by the pandemic, Foronda has been struggling to keep his restaurant afloat. Despite implementing various revenue-boosting initiatives such as hosting a holiday market, board game nights, and DJ panels, Foronda has found it necessary to take on a second job as a nurse on weekends to supplement his income and keep his restaurant open.

California’s new minimum wage law for fast-food workers has sparked worries for small businesses like Foronda’s. Industry standard salaries, inflation, rising food costs, and increasing rental prices have made it difficult for small businesses to keep up with the $20 minimum wage mandate.

Renowned celebrity chef Andrew Gruel has also voiced his concerns about the impact of the $20 minimum wage law in California. Gruel warned that this mandate could lead to layoffs and hour cuts in fast-food chains, ultimately putting pressure on small businesses to increase their wages.

While small businesses are not legally required to pay the $20 minimum wage, the ripple effect of this law may force many to raise their wages or potentially close their doors. As small businesses like HiFi Kitchen strive to navigate the challenges of the new minimum wage law, the future remains uncertain for them and many other establishments in California.

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