Local restaurant engineers hands-off service after minimum wage increase, passes savings to costumers via buffet-style meals.
BAY PARK (CA) – Minimum wage in San Diego has increased almost 150% since 2018. The restaurant industry continues to be pummeled by the growing cost of hired team members and the inflated price of fresh ingredients. Some owners are finding ways to cut costs on the floor in order to continue delivering quality food and drink to the customer.
One restaurant in Bay Park is circumventing the effects of inflation by offering buffet-style meals, reducing the cost of hired servers during Happy Hour. Farmer’s Table has reduced net costs so much that all-you-can-eat and a free drink are being offered for $18 at their Bay Park location. For Tuesday’s Happy Hour, guests can grab unlimited pizza, pasta, and appetizers from a buffet-style selection and enjoy their first glass of beer or wine on the house. For the rest of the afternoon, house wine and beer by the glass are $5 and well cocktails are $6.
What does this mean for the middleman? From the kitchen to the dinner table, servers may soon be cut out. San Diego’s minimum wage increases, SDG&E’s price explosion, and the avian flu egg shortage may cause San Diego restaurants to follow in Farmer’s Table’s footsteps. When it boils down to keeping the lights on, service could disappear from the service industry altogether.