Here's a KING 5 video of Tango Restaurant's Travis Rosenthal stating that Seattle restaurants will either have to raise menu prices or cut staff, in response to the mandatory minimum wage increase to $9.04 per hour that take effect January 1, 2012. Rosenthal is president of the Seattle Restaurant Alliance, and the organization plans to lobby the state legislature to exempt tipped employees from the 4% increase. Seattle Weekly's Hanna Raskin recently noted that Washington restaurants already have three fewer workers than the national average, because of the already high minimum wage. And, she predicted that service may worsen in the new year, when Washington will have one of the highest minimum wage rates in the U.S.
Rosenthal also notes that 520 tolling, the removal of free on-street parking between 6 and 8 pm, and the coming imposition of paid sick leave pose additional barriers to Seattle restaurants in 2012. Check out the video