Wage hike could nibble at Ga restaurant profits


Many Georgia workers welcome a minimum wage hike but it could take a healthy bite out of profits in restaurants statewide.

The federal minimum wage rises nearly 11 percent Friday to $7.25 an hour. The U.S. Department of Labor said 75,000 Georgia workers make at or below minimum wage. Ron Wolf, CEO of the Georgia Restaurant Association, said restaurant owners would rather let market conditions set the wage. Wolf said many restaurants already are facing a decline in customers and rising food and gas prices. His association represents 3,400 restaurant members.

Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A said it won't have to cut jobs because of the increase but might have to make small increases in its prices. Atlanta-based Wendy's Arby's Group said it will evaluate the effects over time.