Celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito: $15 minimum wage is a 'real conundrum' for everyone

Celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito said Thursday a $15 minimum wage is "a real conundrum for everybody.”

“It’s more than $1 million, less than $2 million overnight in increased costs and labor costs -- so it's a big issue for New York City employers,” he told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on Thursday, adding that “at the same time, $15 an hour is close to poverty levels."

House Democrats on Thursday approved a bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour by October 2025. The minimum wage rate in New York City will reach $15 at the end of 2019.  DiSpirito said since the decision, they’ve “had to be very innovative with staff.”


The restaurateur, best known as a celebrity chef and cookbook author, added that although “technology is definitely a great way to replace man-hours,” he wants to “keep people employed and happy.”

DiSpirito also pointed out that employers in New York also face “another whole slew of ancillary benefits that just increase our costs,” including the Family and Medical Leave Act, which requires some employers to provide workers with job-protected leave.