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Minimum wage increase already affecting local restaurants

Sunrise Restaurant may be forced to raise prices soon after Colorado's minimum wage increase
Sunrise Restaurant may be forced to raise prices soon after Colorado's minimum wage increase(KKCO/KJCT)
Published: Jan. 17, 2021 at 6:25 PM MST|Updated: Jan. 17, 2021 at 6:26 PM MST
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - Colorado’s minimum wage increased on January 1st this year, up 2.7 percent to $12.32 per hour. Plenty of industries, including restaurants in particular, have already been affected by the change.

Some local restaurants are already having to adjust, as many restaurant rely on low-wage workers to survive. Less than three weeks into 2021, Sunrise Restaurant in Grand Junction is already considering raising the price of certain menu items.

“We’re looking at doing a small price increase,” says Lena Combs, co-owner of Sunrise Restaurant. “Cost of goods has went up, now cost of payroll is going up also. The margin in the restaurant industry is typically very small, so we’re looking at increases just to make it viable to keep going.”

Sunrise Restaurant will likely increase prices on certain meat items within the next few weeks. The restaurant has begun analyzing which supply costs have gone up throughout the pandemic. This includes most meats, as well as supplies to run the restaurant.

Colorado’s minimum wage is expected to rise slightly again in 2022.

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