The Oasis Cafe Minimum Wage “Controversy”

I have a friend running for state public office and I’m afraid she — and the 25% of people in Minnesota who share similar views — are coming off the rails about the Oasis Cafe “minimum wage surcharge.”

Supposedly being upset about the Oasis Cafe owners putting the charge on the bill shows how out of touch people are with the realities of running a business.  Democrats — Mark Dayton especially, in my friend’s opinion — don’t get it.  Why could they be upset??

I think people have trouble with the fee being put on the ticket as a surcharge because it puts the server in the middle.  If the price of eggs increases, you don’t see a “Egg Cost” surcharge, you see an increase in the prices.  So this is an openly political choice by the owners and some people don’t like that.  In business it can be risky to expose your politics.  Some will agree, others won’t.  That’s all.  The truth is, it isn’t really a big deal unless you are a politician trying to make it a big deal.

Plus, if you look at the numbers, it really isn’t a big deal.  It appears that people are flocking to pay the surcharge!  And as I pointed out yesterday, it appears to be a profit maker for the business, a big one.  Perhaps the owners at Oasis feel guilty about their ill-gotten gains?  (I say that with a bit of friendly sarcasm.)

Anyway, I agree with Governor Mark Dayton.  It is tacky.  Anyone with a sense of class understands this.


One thought on “The Oasis Cafe Minimum Wage “Controversy”

  1. Shane Schmidt Post author

    Another way to look at this is to break down the $10,000 the owners say they will lose. If the 35 cents surcharge is correct and let’s say the restaurant is open 16 hours a day for 350 days a year, that means they only serve 5 tables an hour. That hardly seems likely. Again showing that the fee isn’t really covering a cost, but an excuse to generate a profit.


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