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Friday, October 21, 2016

On Labor Day, 2013, much of the debate over the current state of the American workforce has focused on whether Congress should raise the federal minimum wage. In response to a “lost decade” of wage stagnation, President Barack Obama has called for increasing the minimum wage to $9 per hour, up from the current rate of $7.25, while more aggressive advocates have called for a raise to as high as $15 per hour. Perhaps unsurprisingly, however, Republican leaders in Congress have shot down such suggestions, arguing that mandating higher wages will hurt businesses.

According to businessman John Pepper, that argument could not be more wrong. Pepper is the co-founder and CEO of Boloco, a New England-based burrito chain that pays its employees an entry level salary of between $9 and $11 per hour. In an interview with Fox Business News’ Stuart Varney this week, Pepper explained why — unlike other fast food restaurants, whose paltry wages have recently inspired protests across the country — Boloco chooses to invest in its employees.

“As opposed to constantly looking for ways to keep wages down, we’re constantly looking for practices and ways to bring wages up,” Pepper told Varney. He went on to explain how treating workers fairly ultimately helps his company’s bottom line.

“It’s about connecting with guests…and building a loyalty that drives people back, that alongside productivity is what builds sales and what builds profitability,” he said. “In that case you can pay people a lot more than what we pay as a rule in this industry.”

Pepper declined to endorse a minimum wage hike — saying that “I don’t really care about the government in this instance — but he made it clear that he has no intention of slowing his employees’ wage growth in the future. “We have to work beyond the government…for the betterment of our people, and our business, and our shareholders,” he said.

Pepper’s interview with Varney can be seen below:

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • Bill

    The GOP can’t hurt business, no matter how many people they hurt in the process. Their only goal is to protect the Rich at the expense of the Poor. They won’t allow people to have a living wage and then they want to cut food stamps, what a bunch of assholes!!!!

    • InsideEye

      A Boloco burrito is aBout same price as chipotle , but Boloco is smaller in quantity. They are short changing you, and guacomole also is an extra charge .So they can magnanimously increase their wages. I would pay 123 pesos for a hot looking/tasting enchilada. . Paid the same $13.00 for a burger and fries at 5 GUYS……It was high but tasted good. I Saw a family of five ordering similarly, …70 dollars for lunch…and some young people..but it is in wealthy Boston and some were students so they have unlimited government grants and family resources, yes people do have families still in Boston. It is the place to go if you want to be wealthy, but you also must have an education, even law is good enough.

      • Lovefacts

        Given the growing girth of Americans, most could stand to be served smaller portions. That said, I was shocked by the price you paid at 5 Guys. The most I’ve ever paid was $7. But then, I live in Central VA. As for students having unlimited government grants, you should know better. If that were true, the majority of students wouldn’t be graduating with debt equaling or exceeding the cost of a house in large parts of the US.

        • Vazir Mukhtar

          I’m not holding my breath, but I am looking for a carefully, honestly prepared study that reveals what the cost of a college education was say, in 2000, at a private, not-for-profit college or university.

          How many faculty members were there at each rank? What was the average salary at each rank? How many high-ranking administrators were there? Their average pay? How many mid-ranking administrators — those above the clerical ranks? Their average pay? How many clericals? etc.

          Same categories for these not-for-profit institutions in 2010 (more recent figures are unlikely to be available).

          Number of undergraduate students by major in 2000; in 2010.

          Tuition in 2000; in 2010. Federal loans in 2000; in 2010.

          Same study of for-profit institutions. If they didn’t exist in 2000, then from the date of their founding.

          All right. Enough is enough. But you get the idea. We need data to have a discussion that’s worth having. As Senator Daniel Moynihan said: “Everybody is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” Now most of us have opinions and anecdotal information but few facts.

  • tax payer

    Someone with a two year Degree earns about $15.00 an hour and now the ( minimum wage ) they want is going to be the same pay for a low skilled worker. It’s not going to happen in this decade,

    • Justin Napolitano

      Someone with a two year degree starts at $15.00 a hour. Many people working for ten years, at some companies, still earn minimum wage. This need to be fixed, now!

      • bhaggen

        Fix it yourself bitch. Quit & get a better paying job. If your worth it, which your probably not. If someone is working for ten years at minimum wage they’re not proficient enough for a promotion. If your good enough then the company will pay you more to keep you.

        • jointerjohn

          That is the most naive post I have seen in a long time. Just how “good” does a person have to get with a mop and bucket before they deserve to live decent? Oh wouldn’t it be nice if the real world operated like your fantasy.

          • bhaggen

            How good? Good enough so he can be promoted to a urinal cake engineer like yourself. BTW, Congratulations on the promotion. Now STFU & get back to work before you’re mopin floors again!

          • jointerjohn

            You poor sad pathetic human being. I am a well paid and educated professional making more than 300% of my area median income. The difference between you and me is that I still care about those below me. I didn’t have any family to help me up. I have been working and on my own since I was thirteen. I put myself through high school while living on a cot in a street rescue mission, went to college working three part-time jobs. If you think your insensitive and arrogant challenges can affect me you are even dumber than your posts. I know what it is to stand on aching feet at midnight in a minimum wage job at a hotel. I know what it is to wait tables and wash dishes next to a coworker in tears because she can’t afford the medicine her child needs. Still want to play? Bring it on.

          • bhaggen

            I was being largely metaphoric. You worked your way out of those minimum wage jobs & that’s great. You made my point. We didn’t have a child until we were settled & had our own home. I imagine you did very much the same. What was your coworker doing having a child she couldn’t afford? And no, shit doesn’t “happen” They interviewed a woman with a child who worked at McDonald’s & she’s complaining about her cable bill. CABLE? The FCC mandates free TV. AND behind her on the wall is a huge HD big-screen. Hell, we waited till our 27″ CRT finally went before we replaced it with a 32″ HD. How many people are willing to buy a U.S. made TV made by well paid workers? YOU? No, they come from China where they’re boxed by kids who work for pennies a day. It’s a consumer driven economy & the consumer sucks! Boloco pays more because it’s NOT priced like Taco Bell. It’s a good niche but it’s not cheap fast food. Trader Joes pays more that Wal-Mart but they cater to a higher class clientele & employees. It’s naive to think you can raise a family & keep up with the Joneses flipin burgers.

    • ococoob

      Someone with a 2 yr degree? So what! In today’s environment, a 2 yr. degree really amounts to nothing. Sorry to hurt your feelings.

  • charleo1

    The other day, while I was getting my truck serviced in one of those Jiffy Lube
    type places. I picked up what was a trade magazine written especially for the
    lubrication businesses. Imagine that! A quick lube magazine, in a quick lube
    establishment! I started reading this article that had some helpful tips on how
    the boss could get more work, and higher quality work out of his employees.
    It suggested things like, a pat on the back. Yes, the article went on to say,
    studies have shown, bosses that do a lot of back patting, and hand out a lot
    of, “atta boys,” get more production, and less sick day call ins, when employees
    feel more appreciated. And the article went on to point out the obvious. It didn’t
    cost the owner a dime. In fact the article went on to list several helpful ideas
    employers could use to bolster employee moral. None of which ever called
    for the one thing the employer could do, that says I value your efforts that are
    helping me to make my business a success, a raise!

    • John Pigg

      most people generally find raises to be an affirmation for good work.


      • Eleanore Whitaker

        Do they indeed? So that’s why only CEOs get annual salary increases…and employees have 10 year old salaries, right?

  • Dominick Vila

    Satisfied employees usually translates to satisfied customers, which is the key to business success. Mr. Pepper understands the benefits of having a satisfied and dedicated workforce a lot more than the CEOs of most U.S. entrepreneurs in the hospitality business, and his decision is likely to pay off in the not too distant future.
    The claims that paying livable wages will lead to out of control inflation and economic Armageddon are absurd. Raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour will result in the price of a meal at a fast food joint going up by less than 26 cents, which is hardly a reason to insinuate economic chaos. Most importantly, putting more money in the pockets of the poor always translates into spending and higher consumption, which results in business growth and job creation. Opposing a relatively modest increase in the minimum wage because the GOP believes we should be able to compete with Third World countries is ridiculous and inconsistent with what is happening in the rest of the industrialized world.

    • charleo1

      The opposition to a decent wage is ridiculous. Everyone wants a piece of the
      cheap labor, and high profits! The problem is, who’s got an extra dollar in their
      pocket, to buy anything? Throughout my life as a young student, and young man, growing up during the escalation of the Vietnam War. Thinking about my
      possible turn in Southeast Asia, to be honest. But, in the shadow really, of the tremendous WWII. I marveled at these guys, my Uncle was one. Who as a 21, 22, year old kid, was shipped to Italy. Witnessed this spectacle. All the horrible fighting. Then, marched thru Europe, as conquering Heros. And then, came back after the war, married my Great Grandmother’s daughter, bought a house, raised a child, and never mentioned the war again. I used to wonder how these guys, and there were a lot of them, did this? They went to war, came back to their hometowns, married their sweetheart, and spent the next 40 years selling washer dryers for Sears. Apparently, no worse for the wear. Now, I marvel that a man was once able, in this Country, to buy a home, and raise a family, selling washer/dryers for Sears.

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    The GOP Bull Male Dominator Party are liars. I’ll prove. Take a job at Walmart. If you can’t live on a Walmart salary, Walmart encourages you to collect welfare. Take note that this is so typical of red state BS. Why? Very simple. Welfare is a federal, not a state program paid by us, as taxpayers. In effect, Walmart and those like them force taxpayers to cover the costs of their business responsibility to pay living wages. In order words, these businesses are NEVER hurt so long as they can dump half the cost of wages on taxpayers. Now..factor in how many states give Walmart tax cuts just for locating in their states. Factor in the huge cost born by state taxpayers for the resources these businesses use. Then, factor in the billions they get every year from we the federal taxpayers.

    Do these businesses increase CEO salaries every year? Do they increase the prices of their goods and services? How then do they think they can pay less the the rate at which they inflate expenses for working Americans?

    It is time the GOP and right wing Bull Male Dominator stopped their BS. These businesses are paying less in taxes today than they did in the last 50 years. All at OUR expense.

  • Vazir Mukhtar

    One of the reasons people join unions is to secure higher wages. If those working at fast food shops don’t like their wages, they can request a union representative to meet with them — off premises — and discuss the advantages/disadvantages of union membership.

    Many of you must know how joining a union works. I suggest that to make a union election possible in fast food shops in a given market, Washington, DC, for example, those interested in a union find out who holds the franchise(s) for the shops where they work and set about contacting their fellow workers in all the shops of each franchisee (assuming there is more than one in a given city).

    Trickle down economics — rewarding those who invest in the belief that those whose production or services creates the wealth will also benefit — hasn’t worked. Just look at what’s happened during the last 10 years. Who got rich? The bankers. Whose wages/salaries haven’t grown to keep pace with the increase in expenses? Those working in banks (And practically everyone else.) Who got bailed out? The banks? What about the homeowners with “submarine” houses? Forget it.

    No, I’m not a socialist. I simply don’t believe the federal government should choose who wins and, perhaps unintentionally, who loses.

    If you can’t out fight ’em, you’ve got to out-think ’em.

    • Lovefacts

      I agree 100%. IMO, a few of the reasons behind the trickle downs failure are:
      1. The careers of those at the top seldom are seldom in the production of goods.
      2. The majority of jobs available are in the service and food industry and are low income.
      3. The manufacturers of goods and products no longer care whether Americans can afford to buy the products produced because they’re now sold worldwide.
      4. Banks have positioned themselves so no country can afford their failure, so why care about any country’s economy and only worry about their individual bottom line.

    • Allan Richardson

      American workers USED TO HAVE (since the 1930’s) legal protection for the right to join a union. Before that, strikers were KILLED by private security guards, who were not prosecuted because they were “protecting” the property. In at least one case, security guards and actual police STARTED the violence, but the WORKERS were charged with murder and hanged to death by the law. After some companies in the first three decades of the 20th century accepted unions voluntarily, the Roosevelt administration persuaded Congress to pass the minimum wage law AND laws requiring companies to bargain with unions if the workers wanted to have them.

      Since the strike-breaker Reagan replaced the air traffic controllers with scabs, setting an unfortunate precedent of conservative opposition to ALL unions, American industry has been de-unionized to a substantial degree, and the newly-restaffed NLRB (which, since President Obama was FIRST inaugurated, has not had the board members to HEAR any cases until recently, because of Republican refusal to fill those positions) is too backlogged to hear any case involving McD, BK, W, etc. for several years. In the meantime, almost all companies that do not have a union have responded to union organizers by firing the organizers or shutting down the business unit.

      Unfortunately, the labor does NOT have power to oppose anti-union bosses WITHOUT help from the federal government. If you want to fix the problems, but refuse to use government as a tool to fix it, they will NOT get fixed. They will get worse.

      A conservative is someone who believes government is the cause of all our problems, and upon gaining the power to govern, tries very hard to prove it.

  • Ed

    1) Fern Wood Cock, the PATHETIC male-“nurse”-impersonating-a-woman coward, now will only post her shit (above) in Facebook format, because the stupid IDIOT and faggot is afraid of me.
    2) I could not agree more that paying good, decent wages to your employees will result in a better product and/or service,


    a) a higher wage has to be EARNED (this, of course, eludes the starry-eyed liberal idiots that post here); b) earning a higher wage than you earned 2 years ago means that you have increased your productivity and improved your attitude as compared with those of 2 years ago (this, of course, eludes the starry-eyed liberal idiots that post here); c) if you are still earning minimum wage after 3 or 4 years at a job, it means: 1. you have to get an education, 2. you have a cretin for a boss, 3. you are a cretin yourself, 4. you should find yourself a better job/boss/employer, 5. ALL OF THE ABOVE.

    b) A higher wage has to be offered/obtained inside the framework/rules provided by (I know you liberals don’t like it !) our CAPITALIST SYSTEM !!
    c) A higher wage SHOULD NOT be forced on businesses by our ever-expanding federal government. A higher wage should be the result/mechanism of smart businessmen recognizing and rewarding excellence !! (this, of course, eludes the starry-eyed liberal idiots that post here).
    d) If a government-mandated minimum salary were the solution and mechanism for poor people to become middle-class, then why not, Obama, IMPOSE a $45/hr government-mandated minimum salary? Why stop at $9.00??
    I will not respond to stupid idiots that call me “brainless”; I WILL respond and sustain a civilized discussion with people who can differ and can explain WHY they differ.
    This last requirement automatically excludes Fern Wood Cock and “Russell” The Cuckoo Byrd.

    • bhaggen

      You are not brainless but absolutely correct in my book. Thomas Sowell researched the effects of the minimum wage law on African Americans. He found that their unemployment rate rose dramatically because they were no longer allowed to compete! Larry Elder brought this up on his radio program.

      • Ed

        bhaggen: Did you notice that the liberal idiots who populate this forum and who endlessly congratulate each other have not posted anything new for the last 6 days?

        That’s because of people like you and me who confront them with the FACTS about living under a capitalist system, facts which their tiny minds will never understand because, to them, everything is about a socialistic concept of “compassion”, “fairness” and “equality”.

        Thus, when you very correctly set them straight:

        a) “If someone is working for ten years at minimum wage they’re not proficient enough for a promotion. If you are good enough then the company will pay you more to keep you.”;
        b) “What was your coworker doing having a child she couldn’t afford? And no,
        shit doesn’t “happen” They interviewed a woman with a child who worked
        at McDonald’s & she’s complaining about her cable bill.”,
        … it is THEN, and only then, that their tiny, empty brains start to realize that perhaps people should be responsible for their actions/omissions !!!

        When you confront these liberal retards with the fact that what governments should really (and legitimately) be striving for is “equal opportunity” and NOT “equal results”, SOME of them (the few) will say: “This is an ‘aha !!’ moment !!” and MOST of them (the morons) will scream: “You have no compassion !!”
        Oh brother.

  • Allan Richardson

    I wish there were some of these restaurants where I live. I would patronize them.