‘Bar Rescue’ host Jon Taffer: Minimum wage hurting restaurants worse than recession

A new study reveals Seattle’s minimum wage increase to $15 an hour is actually having a negative impact, with low-wage workers earning on average $125 less a month due to the minimum wage hike.

‘Bar Rescue’ host Jon Taffer said the wage increase led to fewer hours for some, and unemployment for others.

“So here’s the result, employment growth was at 6%-7% in the restaurant sector for employees, it’s now down to 1.2%," Taffer told FOX Business Network's Stuart Varney. "A lot of restauranteurs have cut back staffing by 10%, reduced employees to part time, the employees lost on this.”

Taffer looked to the statistics in New York as an example of why the increased costs for restaurants due to the minimum wage increase is leading to job cuts.

“In New York, Stuart, tipped employees got a 50% increase in pay, that’s a serious impact on operating costs for business. In fast food, non-tipped employees got a 20% increase."

Taffer said comparing the employment data in the industry to the state of the job market during the recession, proves the wage hike has hit restaurants harder. “So the restaurant decline in employee growth is greater than during the recession as a result of this.”

As restaurants turn to technology such as tablets now in an effort to reduce their costs, Taffer says employees will continue to be targeted for cost savings. "And the fact is, you know, machines can flip hamburgers too in fast food restaurants, you know, machines can package.”