Labor costs are one of the two most significant parts of my operating budget, and raising the wage rate again would have a very negative effect on my business. Taco Bell and other quick service restaurants hire a disproportionately large number of entry-level workers who are initially paid near minimum-wage levels. As these workers improve their productivity, learn new skills and demonstrate their reliability and capabilities, their wages typically are increased. Mandating another wage increase will force us, and other small businesses, to further cut back on job opportunities for many teenagers, welfare recipients who are seeking to enter the work force and senior citizens who work part-time i.e., the very people that the proposed increases are reportedly intended to help. Menu prices for our customers also will have to be raised to help us cope with the higher labor costs if wage rates are again increased. Not surprisingly, therefore, I do not support raising the minimum wage at this time. At a time when the quick serve restaurant industry is experiencing large declines in sales, another increase will be devastating to my business and the industry in the state of Alaska.
Denali Foods, Inc.
dba Taco Bell of Alaska