New York City drops minimum wage ‘bomb’ on restaurants

The decision to raise the minimum wage to $15 in New York City has prompted restaurant owners to take matters into their own hands, according to Jon Bloostein, the CEO of Heartland Brewery, who called the lack of response by the local government offensive.

He said Mayor Bill de Blasio has not responded to several letters in which Bloostein voiced his concerns.

“I’m taking it personally now,” Bloostein told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on “Varney & Co.” on Friday.

He said restaurant owners “can’t absorb” six minimum-wage increases in a three-year period.

“A bomb fell on the city in 2015,” he said. “I think Albany thinks because it’s New York City we can just add menu prices as high as we want – doesn’t work.”

In response, New York City restaurant owners are pushing for lawmakers to allow them to add a 5% surcharge to offset the cost and help prevent raising prices on the menus, Bloostein said.

“It’s a small percentage at the bottom of the sales check that’s completely transparent – completely disclosed," he said. "It’s on the menu box that’s outside the restaurant and is on the menus.”

But the restaurant owners must be granted approval by City Hall. “We should not need permission from our local government,” Bloostein said. “Everyone else in America, including New York State, allows the surcharge.”

Bloostein added that the next step is to take the matter to the City Council.