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Newsom’s Wage Increase: A Blow to Workers, Says Chef Gruel



In a recent episode of ‘The Ingraham Angle,’ Chef Andrew Gruel discussed the latest California law requiring fast-food establishments to increase the minimum wage to $20 an hour as of April 1, 2024. 

“Another progressive policy that might sound good in theory, but the cost of living here is already out of control. So in practice, it’s a complete nightmare,” Ingraham said. 

While many assume the law only applies to big-name companies like McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Chipotle – Gruel explained how it will affect small businesses across the state. 

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“Well, we’ve had to raise our prices over the past year or two, just generally by virtue of the economy, but not specific to this bill, because we already are paying our workers a significant percentage above what the existing minimum can’t get,” the founder of American Gravy Concepts said.

“But here’s the thing. Think about it this way. If I pay, say, 25% above the floor, that’s a minimum wage. Now, I do have to increase 25% above this new minimum wage. And when I say it hurts workers it’s because it’s not just the workers that are getting laid off, but when the prices in their local community go up, well then it hurts them as a consumer.”

In anticipation of the new law, large companies have already begun automating their restaurants and laying off workers, while smaller businesses will either have to “increase their prices or close,” according to Gruel.