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Applebees Forced to cut 1000 jobs for Min Wage Hike

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The CEO of Apple-Metro Inc., a company that operates about 40 Applebee’s restaurants in the New York metropolitan area, said he’s been forced to cut at at least 1,000 servers in the past year as a result of New York’s recent minimum wage hike.

“We have 1,000 less servers this time this year than we did this time last year,” Zane Tankel told Fox Business’ Stuart Varney on Monday.

That amounts a two-thirds reduction of his total workforce, Tankel said.“The model now that we’re heading towards where we had one server for three or four tables, we’re moving towards one server for ten tables, eliminating about two thirds of our labor ultimately,” Tankel said.

He pins the blame on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and “the liberal agenda.”

New York state began implementing a series of minimum wage increases in 2016 that will eventually mandate some employers in New York City to pay their employees at least $15 by 2018 for some employers in New York City. The wage hike will take place more gradually in other parts of the state.

On Dec. 31, 2015, the minimum wage for tipped restaurant employees in the state rose from $5 an hour to $7.50 an hour, a 50 percent increase. The minimum wage for fast food workers rose as much as 20 percent, from $8.75 to $10.50.

On Dec. 31, 2016, the minimum wage for fast food employees in the city rose again to $12 an hour.

Tankel’s challenges in the wake of New York’s minimum wage hike is not unique to his Applebee’s franchises.

The state lost 1,000 restaurants in 2016 alone, according to a report by the New York Post. - cont.