The corporate National Restaurant Association commissioned a Republican pollster to collect data on public opinions about raising the minimum wage. It backfired.
“The [National Restaurant Association’s] own poll shows that, by an overwhelming majority, customers are willing to pay more to support a ‘fair wage.’”
The Restaurant Association lobbyists also used the poll to find the best way to convince people to oppose minimum wage increases. Sound familiar?
"Businesses will close. Let’s be clear about who makes up the majority of the restaurant industry: It’s small businesses and locally owned franchises. They operate with razor-thin margins already. The sad reality is that with a higher minimum wage, many would simply no longer be viable; they’d have to lay off employees or shut their doors entirely.”
That’s exactly the same rhetoric that Pathway to 15, the Minnesota Restaurant Association front group, has been parroting since the fight for $15 in Minneapolis. The restaurant lobbyists don’t care that these claims are factually inaccurate according to the most comprehensive studies.
The National Restaurant Association and its local affiliates, including the Minnesota Restaurant Association, have spent decades and untold millions lobbying to convince policymakers and the public that raising the minimum wage is bad. But the poll showed that their fear mongering techniques don’t work.
Even the Restaurant Association lobbyists and their Republican pollsters can’t deny that the vast majority of people support raising the minimum wage to a living wage for all restaurant workers-- even if it means price increases.