California, like South Dakota (there’s an intro that should give the SDGOP the creeps), started raising its minimum wage in 2014. California pretzel CEO Bill Phleps, like bumper-car bosses Al and David Novstrup, got nervous. But then, unlike South Dakota’s Republican Novstrups, Phelps looked at actual data:
Sales at his California stores immediately shot up.
“I was shocked,” Phelps says. “I was stunned by the business.”
The same exact pattern took place again in 2016, when the minimum wage rose again, Phelps said. There was a wage increase, and then boom, a bump in same-store sales across the state that held for most of the year.
Phelps is now convinced minimum wage increases aren’t bad for the fast food business; in fact, he says, they’re great [Sam Harnett, “Fast Food CEO Says Higher Minimum Wage Boosts Business,” KQED News, 2017.01.03].
Phelps is experiencing another facet of what Walmart has seen: raising the minimum wage is good for business.