Local business owner discusses how she handles minimum wage hike

FAIRMONT, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Minimum wage hikes went into effect at the start of the new year in New York City, Long Island and counties outside of Westchester County. Meanwhile, business owner Marty Richardson is now battling inflation.

Richardson has four different restaurants and cafes: Nestico’s Too, Rise and Grind Café in Fairmount and Township 5, and Chelsea’s Restaurant and Bar.

Richardson said she had never seen anything like this in her many years in the restaurant business.

“I’ve worked in restaurants all my adult life and it’s never been as hard as it’s been for the past few years. I mean between Covid, trying to manipulate and manage it and get out of it, and now that business is back up, we still have supply chain issues.”

She said prices were also hard to control.

Now that the minimum wage is in effect, it’s just another financial blow she’s taking. “You’re talking 2, 3, 4 people on a shift at $1 an hour per shift,” Richardson said. “It doesn’t seem like a significant increase, but it’s probably one of the bigger increases we’ve had at this point in time, charging a dollar an hour for multiple shifts a week and adding inflation, and now it’s happening really fast Difficult to absorb.”

She said about 15-20 employees would see this increase, so she had to make some changes at her restaurant, Nestico’s Too.

“I’d say $0.30 to $0.50 (per item) is going to be more acceptable to customers on most items on the menu, however, it makes a huge difference to us, even though it’s such a small quantity.”

Despite the coronavirus, inflation and minimum wage increases, Richardson has worked hard to keep her employees happy.

“I really like that people feel their worth and I feel like when they’re doing well I just want to keep giving them more money and I think it’s better for them and us in the long run, So we’re just trying to really take care of our people.”

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