Subway recently announced that it would temporarily bring back its old ‘Five-Dollar Footlong’ promotion for a limited time in select locations.
The deal, however, won’t be applied to Subway restaurants in Seattle, where minimum wage increased to $13 per hour in 2016.
That just happens to be the same year Subway’s original ‘Five-Dollar Footlong’ promotion came to an end.
Despite layoffs, cut hours, and increased prices, Seattle hopes to make things even worse by raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour in the near future.
Seattle Franchise owner, David Jones, explained to his customers the reason his franchise wouldn’t offer the promotion. Being very straightforward in a note, Jones says “the highest minimum wage in the nation” is to blame, along with Obamacare, the soda tax, and other liberal policies.
The note read:
Dear Seattle Subway Patrons, unfortunately… we are not participating in the $4.99 footlong promotion.
The cost of doing business in the City of Seattle is very high. We are balancing the highest minimum wage in the nation, paid sick leave, ACA, secure scheduling, Soda Tax and much more. […]
David Jones, Franchise Owner.
Seattle has greater woes than missing out on lowered Subway sandwich prices the rest of the country enjoys. Thanks to their hiked minimum wage, the cost of doing business in Seattle is extremely high all around.
The same student workers around the city who pushed for a raise in minimum wage are now seeing major cutbacks in hours.
Seattle customers, meanwhile, looking for better prices than what they see in the city, often only have to leave city limits. Where the city’s liberal policies no longer apply, companies can afford to promote better deals.
Sadly, the consequences of high minimum wages, excessive taxation, and mandate-happy public policy are not limited to the death of cheap sandwiches. The cost of doing business in Seattle is higher than the Space Needle, and the unintended consequences of those policies are piling up too.
The biggest cost driver, as Jones’ sign mentions, is Seattle’s highest-in-the-nation minimum wage. It went from $9.47 to $11 per hour in 2015, then to $13 per hour in 2016, with a further increase to $15 per hour planned.
The result? According to researchers at the University of Washington’s School of Public Policy and Governance, the number of hours worked in low-wage jobs has declined by around 9 percent since the start of 2016 “while hourly wages in such jobs increased by around 3 percent.” The net outcome: In 2016, the “higher” minimum wage actually loweredlow-wage workers’ earnings by an average of $125 a month.
Kudos to Jones (who has spoken out before about the issues facing Seattle businesses, but did not return a call for this story) for being straight with his customers—and to other businesses, like this Seattle Costco, that have similarly refused to hide the costs of the city’s soda tax from the consumers who have to pay it. In both cases, the businesses are looking out for their customers’ best interests. Costco gave customers directions to another location outside the city limits where the soda tax would not apply, and Jones says he’s trying to figure out a way to offer a discount on certain sandwiches, even if he can’t afford to sell them for $4.99.
Sadly, things will only get worse in Seattle if the city continues raising its minimum wage.
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