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California pizza shop tries to sell a ‘living wage pizza’ and learns a tough economics lesson

Image via Lanesplitter Pizza Facebook

Image via Lanesplitter Pizza Facebook

Liberals love the idea of the minimum wage and a “living wage”…at least until it hits their bottom line.

Lanesplitter Pizza & Pub in Emeryville, California is learning that economics lesson the hard way.

Cities up and down California have been considering hiking up their minimum wage so Vic Gumper, the owner of Lanesplitter, decided to get ahead of the curve and do it on his own.

Rather than just raise the minimum wage for his employees, he decided to do it in the form of creating a “living wage pizza.”

This business model means that all workers now earn $15 to $25 an hour as part of an experimental business model that also did away with gratuities and raised prices, making meals at all five locations “sustainably served, really … no tips necessary,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

“This movement, it’s going on everywhere,” Gumper told the paper. “We just decided to manage the situation and get to a place where we can sustain it.”

But while patrons have applauded the move verbally, they haven’t put their money where their mouth is.

The “living wage pizza” costs more than $30 and people haven’t been too keen on paying for it.

Gumper has seen a 25% drop in sales since April and has had to eliminate lunch hours at a few of his locations, according to the L.A. Times.

“The necessity of paying people a living wage in the Bay Area is clear, so it’s hard to argue against it, and it’s something I’m really proud to be able to try doing,” he said. “At the same time, I’m terrified of going out of business after 18 years.”


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