This past Sunday night my wife and I walked to our favorite Mexican restaurant for dinner only to discover they were closed that night. There was no explanation as to why they were not open that day, but suspect it was for a lack of workers. I know of at least two long-time restaurants near me that have closed specifically because they cannot hire enough restaurant staff. I see ads on local TV not advertising their products and service but advertising help wanted.
Oregon's minimum wage is $13.50 in our area, $14.75 in the Portland metro area, and $12.50 in the non-urban counties. By the way, everybody including restaurant workers who collect tips, get at least minimum wage in Oregon. Not surprisingly, menu prices around here are all higher and most menus have reduced offerings. Many restaurants have changed from table service to counter service and bus your own table.
Of those restaurants that went out of business or were forced to reduce their hours of operation, I am sure they owners offered their workers more than minimum wage before calling it quits. Of course restaurant workers still get tips like anywhere else. The norm for tips seems to have crept up from 15% to 20%.
You cannot convince me that Venezuelans and others who traipsed countless miles across deserts and jungles and faced hardships along the way wouldn't gladly accept a restaurant job if offered.
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