Small business reacts to Beshear’s state worker minimum wage increase

Whether they’re cleaning tables, sorting silverware, or making pizzas, everyone at Pizza Inn in Paducah makes more than minimum wage. That’s because owner Larry Rust thinks the state minimum wage is too low. 

Rust told Local 6 his employees start out above the $7.25 average and then receive an increase in the first 30 days. Then they can make more based on continuing education and time dedicated to the restaurant.

“We’ve got a lot of people who’ve been here a long time who know how to do everything, and they make the most money,” Rust said. He said his employees are the people his customers come into contact with the most, and happy employees lead to happy customers. Then, he’s able to share any profits with the those employees.  

However, he doesn’t think the government should mandate the minimum wage. Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear signed an executive order Monday increasing the minimum wage for some state employees to $10.10 an hour.

He said that’s dangerous because, if the minimum wage is set too high, that doesn’t leave much room for him to increase his workers’ pay or offer rewards for exceptional service. He said the decision should be left up to business owners. 

 “If you take care of your employees, pay them a good, livable salary, then they’re going to be happy at work,” he said. “If they’re happy at work then everybody’s happy.” 

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