Restaurant economies shift with minimum-wage increase

When California’s minimum wage jumped from $8 to $9 on July 1, owners of restaurants, coffee shops and bars braced for the fallout. They would either have to bump up prices and risk losing customers or absorb the hit and deal with slimmer margins.

Some had developed new cost-and-pricing strategies months ago to account for the 12.5-percent hourly increase, sprinkling in price hikes here and there throughout the menu so they wouldn’t be so noticeable to the consumer.

“We did it two-fold,” said Troy Paski, owner of Hoppy Brewing, a popular restaurant and brewpub in East Sacramento. “We addressed the issue early so there wouldn’t be so much sticker shock. Beer and liquor went up last November. Food prices went up in April.”

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