Oasis Cafe in Stillwater, Minnesota, has started putting three words on the bottom of every customer's receipt — and once word got out earlier this week, the restaurant's move ignited a decidedly nasty war of words online, placing the tiny establishment in the center of a statewide debate.
The three words? "MIN WAGE FEE." That's right. And the fee? A 35-cent surcharge to all bills.
The 35 cents per tab is offsetting what the restaurant said it has to pay as part of an increased minimum wage for tipped employees, reported WCCO-TV in Minneapolis. Oasis management said they estimate the wage increase is costing the establishment more than $10,000 annually, WCCO added.
And many are angry about the way Oasis handled its added expenditure.
“It’s Oasis way of blaming our government for trying to set a fair living wage," one person commented on Facebook, WCCO noted. "It is political grandstanding.”
"Ick, talk about cheapskates," another vented. "How embarrassing for the waitstaff."
"Another conservatard tea Taliban establishment..." one commenter said. "what is that song again...oh yea, Another one WILL bite the dust!"
That's the tame stuff.
But there were plenty of commenters who sided with Oasis: "Cry baby liberals want to blame the owners for a raise in the minimum wage? Charge them $1 per meal. Dumb asses!"
"Good for you Oasis Cafe," a supporter wrote. "I think it is about time somebody demonstrated that these market manipulations imposed on businesses by overzealous government bureaucrats have very real impacts on the owners and operators of small businesses."
"i love this! i will gladly patronize this restaurant," an Oasis ally said. "thank you for showing people that imposed costs actually matter and come from somewhere. i find it incredibly ironic that it is all the lefties on here that are, in fact, threatening to hurt your business and — by extension — fulfilling the very job-killing ramifications that price floors (i.e. min wage) impose."
Oasis didn't take the backlash without issuing a zinger of its own, WCCO noted: “Thumbing my nose at the law change, you’re right. Part of my thinking was to shine a light on this matter, which I truly believe is in the best interest of both my business and employees.”
Oasis added to WCCO that if Minnesota would pass a tip credit as 43 other states have done, the added 35 cents per bill wouldn't be needed.
(H/T: Business Insider)