“Social Justice” Pizza Shop Paying $15/HR

social justice pizza shop

Dudley Dough, a “fair-wage” pizza parlor dedicated to “economic justice” in Boston, has been forced to close its doors because it is unable to make enough profits to sustain itself. They had only been in business since 2015.

The business was a subsidiary of Haley House, with this chain being their “economic inclusion initiative.” They also have a “social enterprise cafe” in their portfolio. 

Back in 2016, the pizza shop was featured in a local news report in the greater Boston area about the “Fight for $15” minimum wage initiative. The shop was cited as a group putting their money where their mouths are. “We are trying to promote social justice through equal pay and fair wages for employee and staff” a manager said. The starting pay at the shop was actually “only” $12.50, but they said they would hopefully be raising it to $15.

But, unfortunately, their grand ambitions conflicted with economic reality. According to the Boston Globe, “After an analysis of the business’s operations and trends, the board determined that Haley House could not continue to subsidize the pizza shop without putting in peril its own efforts. Three other restaurants opened in the area around the same time as Dudley Dough and are still operating.”

They voluntarily paid high wages and couldn’t make it. Imagine what would happen to millions of small businesses nationwide if they were forced to pay $15 – or even $12.50 – an hour.

It’s sad, because the founder made the point that because his workers could support themselves, they wouldn’t be on government benefits. An economist featured in the report accused low-wage employers of having the government “subsidize” their employees who can’t support themselves.

While the first claim is obviously true, the second is not. An unemployed worker costs the government much more to support than a low-wage worker, and, unfortunately, paying unsustainably high wages will lead to a lot more of those.

Share this story if you think the minimum wage is a terrible idea!

By Matt

Matt is the co-founder of Unbiased America and a freelance writer specializing in economics and politics. He’s been published... More about Matt

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