At the beginning of January, minimum wage increases took effect in 18 states and 20 citiesacross the nation, and some industries are struggling to keep pace with rising labor costs.
Late Monday, casual dining chain Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (RRGB) announced that it would eliminate bus boys at 570 restaurant locations, a move that is expected to save the company an estimated $8 million over the course of the coming year. The company’s chief financial officer said the decision was made in order to “address the labor increases we’ve seen.”
“I read that as minimum wage,” Michael Saltsman, director of the Employment Policies Institute (EPI), told FOX Business. “Somebody like Red Robin, which has a lot of exposure in western states [where the minimum wage is rising faster] … this is sort of a burger and beer chain. If they can’t pass those increases off in higher prices … they have to find a way to do more with less.”