Prices set to rise to match increasing minimum wage

The impact of Arizona's minimum wage hike
Published: Jan. 4, 2023 at 7:20 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The price to eat out will soon cost you more. Part of the reason is a new minimum wage hike this year.

Here in Arizona, the minimum wage is now up more than a dollar to $13.85 an hour. This number will go up every year until it is $15 an hour in 2025.

Arizona is one of more than two dozen states with minimum wage hikes this year.

While the rising minimum wage helps workers, it means the cost of food and drinks at restaurants will also be going up.

Arizona’s minimum wage is connected to the consumer price index which means it changes yearly with inflation.

But there are some rules when it comes to this new wage. Employees who get tips and some student workers are not eligible for the minimum wage. Tipped employees earn $3 less.

While these changes are welcome news for some, it’s possible everyone could end up paying the difference.

“Unfortunately, it takes a really big hit on restaurants,” owner of Gentle Bens Richard Fifer said. “We don’t have a lot of minimum wage labor but servers and bartenders are at that threshold for the server minimum wage so that’s where restaurants take the hit on it. Menu prices will have to go up a little bit but we’ll try to keep it reasonable because we don’t want to scare customers away.”

That’s the concern at different locations around town, businesses putting the cost on you to be able to pay workers. That’s industry standard so you can expect to see those prices go up throughout the year.

As for those who make more than minimum wage, their pay generally goes up as well when other employees get a raise.