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Celebrity Chef Mario Batali Accidentally Slams the Minimum Wage
It's always amusing when liberal celebrities accidentally make the case against liberal policies. Mario Batali isn't someone who is going to be joining the #LwC Mug Club anytime soon. He should, because it's freakin' awesome, but you know - different strokes and all that jazz.
He was giving a talk, and he tried both praising raising the minimum wage while being honest about what it does to the food service industry.
Batali told Recode's Kara Swisher at Recode's Code Commerce conference in New York that most restaurants operate on such thin margins that it isn't viable to pay the kitchen staff higher wages.
Raising the minimum wage, Batali said, is "a fascinating way of looking at raising quality of life," but one that will ultimately "raise the costs for a smaller operator."
Batali said that high labor costs were one reason why fully automated restaurants like Eatsa had emerged — chains where customers pick quinoa bowls and other selections without giving their order to a live person — and said that the move towards automation was an obvious outgrowth of the expense of staffing.
It's at least good to see him be accidentally honest.
The part where Batali wanted to raise labor costs on another industry other than his own, not so much. But consistency is hard to come by for die-hard leftists. Baby steps. Maybe someday he'll make the connection that "what's good for the goose is good for the gander." Or maybe buttering his own bread. I'm running out of food puns, help me.