"An increase in the minimum wage is good for the country, and it's good for St. Louis. It gives workers a leg up to support themselves and their families," said Mayor Slay.
In response, Mayor Slay announced a city-wide minimum wage of $10.10 in January, following President Barack Obama's call to action at his State of the Union address.
Following suit, Business owners like Euclid Hospitality Group (Pi and Gringo) are heeding President Barack Obama's call to action to raise the minimum wage.
Pi Pizzeria and Gringo, restaurants managed by St. Louis-based Euclid Hospitality Group (EHG), today announced a minimum wage of $10.10 per hour to begin April 1, 2014, in all seven restaurants in St. Louis and Washington, D.C. EHG is the first restaurant group in St. Louis to publicly announce this increase ahead of any federal, state or locally-mandated increase to the minimum wage, which is currently $7.50 in Missouri.
Today, Pi and Gringo Co-Founder Chris Sommers joined Mayor Slay for an announcement of this effort alongside members of the Pi restaurant team who will benefit from the increased wage at Pi Pizzeria at the MX in Downtown St. Louis. Sommers and others from the Pi team discussed motivations for the effort and months-long analysis that supports its viability.
"This is a useful step and an important goal. I hope other employers will follow the President's example, just as Chris is," Mayor Slay said. "More than 28 million Americans depend on it."
"We are very excited to rollout this initiative at our seven restaurants here in St. Louis and in Washington, D.C.," Sommers said. "Our research began after Thanksgiving in an effort to determine the top and bottom-line implications of a labor cost increase. Our conclusion was a definitive 'yes, we can and must move forward with this higher wage.'"
In the next couple of weeks, EHG's minimum wage will be 33 percent higher than the state's entry-level minimum.
"None of our non-tipped employees currently starts at the state minimum wage," Sommers added. "But, we still felt it necessary to ensure a floor that is consistent with a higher wage in St. Louis."
A decrease in turn-over expenses, recruiting and training new employees will partially pay for the increased labor cost at EHG.
"We haven't raised our food prices in six years and don't plan to now to pay for this," said Frank Uible, Sommers' Co-Founder. "The myth is that higher wages lead to higher prices, but we don't see it that way. Instead, we are doing this so our team has the means to get by, which translates to the ability to buy more goods and services. We all win when more people have more means."
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