Absorbing Big Change on a Small Scale

By Emmet Pierce

Impact on Hotels

Hotel entrepreneur Robert Rauch oversees 14 establishments in the San Diego region. He said he supports the increase in minimum wage, except in the case of food servers. Most of them already are making well above minimum wage, if you count tips, he added.

“When they are already making $30 per hour, why should I increase their base wage?” he asked.

The focus should be on creating a minimum wage that helps people who are below the poverty line, Rauch added, not food servers who may be earning as much as $70,000 per year based on their tips.

Rauch said he is concerned that the rising minimum wage in San Diego will price students out of the job market. If hoteliers and restaurateurs have to pay a student trainee the minimum wage, many won’t hire them and will seek out more experienced workers, he said.

“That person wants the job badly but isn’t of a lot of value to me,” he said of student employees. “They don’t even know how to punch a time card. What will happen is they won’t get those jobs.”

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