Southern Ill. restaurants working to deal with 2022 minimum wage increase

Local southern Illinois restaurants working to deal with 2022 minimum wage increase.
Local southern Illinois restaurants working to deal with 2022 minimum wage increase.(Colin Baillie)
Published: Dec. 28, 2021 at 6:12 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 28, 2021 at 6:17 PM CST
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JACKSON COUNTY, Ill. (KFVS) - In 2022 the minimum wage is set to increase another dollar in the State of Illinois, reaching $12 an hour.

Its just one of several new laws that will go into effect at the beginning of the year.

”We absolutely want people to make a living wage and we want to provide a good living for the people who work for us,” said Amy Mills, 17th Street BBQ owner.

Mills says with the increase of minimum wage, menu prices will also increase.

“Everyone should be expecting price increases wherever they go in January, whether it’s at the gas pump, whether it’s at the grocery store, the news is filled with articles about these incoming price increases,” said Mills.

According to Mills, in 2021, 17th Street’s food cost increased 325 percent.

At Quatros Deep Pan Pizza, they are having a hard time holding onto employees.

“As a small business we are seeing these socially mandated increases in here. Trying to make wages up as most folks in the world know, staffing has been a challenge for a lot of this year,” said Steve Payne, Quatros Owner.

Payne says that’s one of the reasons he’s raised their pay grade.

“We have been in a position too raise our wages up substantially higher than minimum wage, but everyone will still want their minimum wage increase added on to what their existing at, unfortunately that will, we call that inflation,” said Payne.

Payne says they keep fighting to stay open.

“We have probably been no different than anyone else, and I’m just barely hanging in there, hopefully this will level off at some point in time and get some stability,” said Payne.

He says the best way to continue to support local businesses is to continue shopping and eating there.

At 17th Street, Mills says the increase in minimum wage has been on their minds.

“We’ve certainly been anticipating this minimum wage increase, we know it’s going to be increasing every year for the next 3 years and again we’re very happy to pay our excellent workers what they’re worth and we even pay more than minimum wage to most people,” said Mills.

Other laws that will go into effect include regulations that will allow students to have a limited number of mental health days and the deregulation of lemonade stands.

Illinois is working to have the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025.

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