When the San Francisco paid sick days law was first being debated I, like many other local businesses, was concerned; now I appreciate its value. It creates a better, less stressful work environment and increases employee morale.
I was concerned it would become more of a Paid Hangover Day! However, I’ve found that not only have my staff not abused the system, it’s led to us being much less likely to have the horrible “sick-outs” that restaurants are known for- where your entire staff is sick at once. Since we work in such close quarters and often eat/ drink from the same plates, we used to have times when we had so many sick staff we’d have to close. Now, people stay home when they’re ill, thus not infecting the customers OR the other staff members.
[Paid sick leave] is the best public policy for the least cost. Do you want your server coughing over your food?
[Still, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce insists the change would kill jobs] 'by making Milwaukee a high-cost island in which to do business.'
It has not been a huge issue that we have heard from our members about.
We want to take the message to the public and the San Francisco residents to let them know how close to the tipping point the restaurant industry is.
Where we are headed for, you are not going to see those cool, little local restaurants. You are going to see a bunch of corporate restaurants, and the rest of the city is going to look like the restaurant dynamic on Fisherman’s Wharf.
I’m going to have to raise prices for all my drinks and appetizers a dollar and entrees two dollars. I don’t know how else to do it. We are known as the best restaurant city in the world, but we are going to start lagging because there will be a lack of service, a lack of staff in the dining hall. Something has to give.
I can tell you that as of right now, we are not looking to expand in San Francisco. It’s a labor-intensive industry, and the last thing we need is to get dinged for it.
How can we afford this? You can only charge so much for a hamburger, and then people will stop coming. I'm 52 and was hoping to do this until I retire, but the city is going to force me out of business.