Restaurant charges patrons a 'minimum wage fee'

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By staff

A restaurant in Minnesota opposes the state’s new minimum wage hike, and the writing is on the receipt.

Last week, Oasis Café in Stillwater, Minnesota, started slapping a 35-cent “minimum wage fee” on all customers’ bills after Minnesota upped the minimum wage on August 1 for the first time in nearly a decade.

The new minimum wage for smaller employers is now $8.00 per hour, up 75 cents from the $7.25 federal minimum wage. The breakfast-all-day café has listed the fee on patrons’ receipts below subtotal and tax.

The café has received mixed reactions on Twitter and their Facebook page. One user commented, “Hard to stomach the food when it's served in a restaurant that fights so hard to make sure their employees can't earn a living wage.”

Owner Craig Beemer has defended his decision, telling the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that the increase in wages will cost the restaurant nearly $10,000 more annually. 

"Our decision to offset the recent increase in minimum wage was what we believed to be the most honest and transparent way to communicate a significant increase in our operating cost. Rather than raise menu prices, we decided to charge a flat fee per guest check," Beemer said in a letter posted to the cafe's Facebook page on Friday.

-- Rebecca Ungarino