Chipotle fans in San Francisco are going to notice that prices across the menu have risen about 10 percent in an unannounced move that one equity research report attributes to the recent minimum wage hike, and the hikes yet to come.
Forbes jumped on the news, crowing that "There really is no free lunch," and wags their finger suggesting "just because well meaning liberals wave their magic wand and decree that wages will rise there will indeed be countervailing effects."
From the original source report:
San Francisco... saw across-the-board price increases averaging over 10%, including 10% increases on chicken, carnitas (pork), sofritas (tofu), and vegetarian entrees along with a 14% increase on steak and barbacoa. We believe the outsized San Francisco price hike was likely because of increased minimum wages (which rose by 14% from $10.74 per hour to $12.25 on May 1) as well as scheduled minimum wage increases in future years (to $13 next year, $14 in 2017, and $15 in 2018).
And yes, we get it, prices are going up all over and places like Comix Experience have struggled with the wage increase, which Forbes brings up as well but is anyone really going to cry over 10 percent price hikes at Chipotle, where everything is already more expensive than your typical taqueria and you're paying for the whole sustainable thing?
And despite the doomsaying from places like the Wall Street Journal earlier this year, restaurants that weren't already struggling have not been shutting down en masse because of the hikes, though certainly the changes are hurting restaurateurs bottom lines if they don't have wiggle room on prices.
Also, as we've seen, some restaurants are choosing to forgo traditional tipping in order to share "service charges" with kitchen staff, since front-of-house staffs now are being paid more than they were previously on top of their tips.
But, because liberal SF has once again done something before anyone else, you can expect the business-focused press to be on our case for months to come.