A $15 minimum wage is 'daunting'

Seattle just passed a $15 minimum wage bill, and San Francisco will vote on one in November. It's a hot topic among lawmakers around the country, and business owners are concerned.

"Daunting" road ahead

minimum wage small biz laurie thomas
  • Name: Laurie Thomas
  • Business: Nice Ventures
  • Location : San Francisco

For Laurie Thomas, a $15 minimum wage will likely become a reality in November.

That's when voters in San Francisco will cast their ballots on a plan to raise the wage from the current $10.74. It's widely expected to pass.

Thomas owns a restaurant management firm that has three fine dining establishments in the city. An industry veteran, she has one word for the challenges ahead: "daunting."

Not only would Thomas be required to raise the minimum wage to $15 within four years, she also has to allocate $1.63 per hour for each worker, which gets put aside for healthcare spending -- a city mandate.

Related: Seattle $15 wage plan is unfair to me

California requires that waitstaff be paid minimum wage, unlike some states that allow tipped workers to be paid a lower hourly rate (and assumes tips will make up the difference).

If a $15 minimum wage comes to fruition, Thomas said her prices would likely go up by at least 15% to 20%. She also said she'd have to figure out how to provide an acceptable level of service with less servers.

More from Ozy: The trouble with over-tipping

  @CNNMoney - Last updated August 05 2014 05:05 PM ET

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