NewsCovering Colorado


A Colorado Springs server says the state's pay raise is just canceling out her rising bills

It's been two months since 23 states, including Colorado, increased the minimum wage but is it really doing anything?
Posted at 10:15 PM, Mar 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-02 00:32:43-05

COLORADO SPRINGS— It's been two months since 23 states, including Colorado, increased the minimum wage.

Colorado employees get $13.65 an hour, according to the US Department of Labor. Tipped employees get $10.63.

"We always know the raise in the minimum wage, everything else is going to go up too and eventually that would probably drive me out of this line of work," said a Momma Pearl's Cajun Kitchen server Carrie Gobble.

Gobble has been in the restaurant business since high school. She said she thanks her tips for staying financially afloat, for now.

Tipped employees start lower because the state believes they can hit the minimum wage in tips.

"In tips, I definitely probably make three times as much as just my hourly on a good day," said Gobble.

If tipped employees don't hit $13.65 an hour, the employer must pay the difference.

"The ten years I've been in business, I've never once had to fill that gap because the servers have always made that much money in tips," said Momma Pearl's Cajun Kitchen owner Robert Brunet.

Momma Pearl's Cajun Kitchen pays its employees more than minimum wage said Brunet. He said it's still hard to compete for workers.

"We can't even find dishwashers who'd come in for less than 15, 16 dollars an hour," said Brunet.

With the cost of produce and labor going up, Brunet said he has to charge his customers more. "That's usually how it works but it has to come from somewhere or you will find yourself out of business very, very quickly," said Brunet.

Brunet said he thanks his loyal customers for keeping his doors open for ten years.

____Watch KOAA News5 on your time, anytime with our free streaming app available for your Roku, FireTV, AppleTV and Android TV. Just search KOAA News5, download and start watching.