The New Year will bring some big changes for businesses, including an increase in the Minnesota minimum wage.
Starting in January, the minimum wage will increase to $9.86 for large employers, and $8.04 for small employers.
This will be the 4th year the wage has increased, but only the second where it has increased based on inflation, going up by 2.16%.
While many businesses in Duluth actually pay more, restaurants like Zeitgeist Cafe still pay minimum wage and tips to their front of house.
With this increase they say they’re excited to funnel that money back into the surrounding community.
In 2014, when the Minnesota minimum wage sat at $6.50 for Small Employers and $8 for Large Employers, Gov. Mark Dayton and state lawmakers voted to raise the minimum wage three years in a row, and then to increase it with inflation starting in 2018.
One Duluth business who’s been bumping up the wage is Zeitgeist Café. Their servers, hosts and bartenders are getting the raise, their manager says they’re happy to be giving back.
“Just to make sure that we’re being fair to everyone and just kind of helping that money come back into the community and stay in the community,” said Kalli Alexandrou, Front of House Manager. “And just kinda make this area awesome for everyone to hang out.”
According to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, in a statement they said:
“The Commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry is required to determine and announce the inflation–adjusted minimum–wage rate each year by Aug. 31.
The inflation adjustment must not exceed 2.5 percent and must not be a decrease.”
Only the front-of-house staff at Zeitgeist will be getting the wage increase, because the other workers are paid more than minimum already.
The front of house manager tells us that the wage increase won’t result in any price increases.
So customers of Zeitgeist can still look forward to the same experience, now knowing that their servers and bartender are getting a bigger paycheck.