Things are not peaceful at the Oasis Café in Stillwater. When the state’s higher minimum wage took effect on Aug. 1, the restaurant began charging a 35-cent “minimum wage fee” on each order. Restaurantclaims the charge is to highlight the burden the wage hike places on small businesses.
In social media chats, the owners advocated for a tip credit, as 43 other states provide in their minimum wage laws. Oasis owners claim allowing the tip credit with the increased minimum wage would have softened the blow to small businesses, many of which have tipped employees.
Angry customers said the owners were blaming the law for increased costs instead of simply quietly raising prices to cover what the owners claim will be an additional $10,000 in expenses per year under the new law. Other customers said they were more than willing to pay more to keep a local business afloat regardless of how the bill is itemized.