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Minn. Restaurant Charging Customers Minimum Wage Fee

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(credit: CBS) Reg Chapman
Reg Chapman joined WCCO-TV in May of 2009. He came to WCCO fr...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — People eating at a Stillwater restaurant Tuesday noticed a new fee added to their bill.

Owners of the Oasis Cafe are charging a 35 cent minimum wage fee. They say it’s to offset the cost of an increased minimum wage for tipped employees.

Customers have mixed reviews about the new fee.

For some, the thought of charging customers this fee sent them to social media to vent.

“You’re essentially blaming customers for the increase when you charge for it the way you do,” one customer wrote on Facebook.

Another said: “It’s Oasis way of blaming our government for trying to set a fair living wage. It is political grandstanding.”

Oasis owners fired back on Facebook, saying: “Thumbing my nose at the law change, you’re right. Part of my thinking was to shine a light on this matter, which I truly believe is in the best interest of both my business and employees.”

Many eating at Oasis on Tuesday said it’s not a big deal to pay a little extra to keep a small business afloat.

“I don’t take issue with it really,” Jordan Felt said.

The Oasis management says they estimate the pay increase is costing them more than $10,000 a year.

People we spoke with say they support the businesses effort to keep the employees they have working.

“For a small business, I think that’s an OK thing, but if you are a larger company and you have the money and you’re just greedy and you don’t want to pay it yourself, then that’s a whole another story,” Markie Babcock said.

The owners say if Minnesota would pass a tip credit like 43 other states have done none of this would be necessary.

The owners were on vacation Tuesday but say they are looking forward to coming home to debate this hot button issue.

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