BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Marotto’s restaurant on Delaware Avenue serves lunch and dinner 7 days a week, and depends on several minimum wage workers to serve customers.
“Two years ago it was $7.50 an hour it went to $9 which is an unbelievable increase. And then two years ago also the waitresses salary went up 50%. I’ve got 7 waitresses we’ve got 7 dishwashers it’s just unbelievable,” said Mark Marotto, Marotto’s restaurant owner.
On New Year’s Eve the minimum wage went up across the state. In upstate New York, it went up from $9 an hour to $9.70. Restaurant owner Mark Marotto says every time the minimum wage goes up, his business takes a hit.
“Someone has got to take a cut in pay so it’s the restaurant owners or small business owners that are going to take a cut in pay,” said Marotto.
The 70 cent increase is just one part of Governor Cuomo’s plan to gradually increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2021.
Buffalo State Economics Professor Fred Floss says when it comes to small businesses, the wage increase for 2017 shouldn’t make a big impact but that depends on the business.
“It’s not going to amount to that much money because there aren’t hundreds and hundreds of people. That’s very different from a place that has 30 or 40 franchises across New York state,” said Fred Floss, Buffalo State department of Economics and Finance Chair.
Marotto says because of the minimum wage increase he’ll also need to increase the price of his food. But he says even with those raises, he’s still going to lose money.
“Who’s going to take a cut in pay? The guy who works 70 hours a week,” said Marotto.
Floss says 30 to 40 percent of all jobs in Western New York pay below $15 an hour, but by 2021 he says most jobs will probably pay more.
We won’t see the minimum wage raise to 15 dollars an hour here in WNY for another 4 year, but it will continue to raise each year until it hits $15.