retail news in context, analysis with attitude

...with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

• The Puget Sound Business Journal has a story about how two of Seattle's best-known restaurateurs are saying that there definitely will be an impact on prices if the City Council there approves a $15/hour minimum wage.

Tom Douglas (who owns MNB fave Etta's, as well as a dozen other establishments), says the increase likely would add $1.50 to the cost of each course, or as much as $6 per customer check. And Ethan Stowell, "who runs nine restaurants in Seattle neighborhoods, said his group was predicting a 25 percent price increase."

Still, Douglas said that "rather than have nine council members decide this (the minimum wage) … I’m more inclined to take it to a vote and see what the people want."

No question that some things will cost more if the minimum wage goes up. The question that has to be decided is whether the benefits - like allowing people who work 40 hours a week at the minimum wage to be able to support themselves - outweigh the negatives.

• The Tampa Bay Business Journal reports that Bi-Lo Holdings plans to convert eight Sweetbay Supermarkets recently acquired from Delhaize to its Winn-Dixie banner, effective the end of the month.

• The Detroit News reports that Burger King plans to introduce an application that will allow customers to use their smartphones to pay for their meals, part of an effort to appeal to younger, tech-savvy consumers.

According to the story, "The program will be introduced next month and should be in all of Burger King’s more than 7,000 U.S. stores in a few months."
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