Restaurant busboys were about to earn a little more money this year as minimum wage hikes hit across the country. Instead, they are losing their jobs as chains look to cut costs.
One chain axing jobs are Red Robin. They hope to save about $8 million this year by eliminating busboys at each of its 570 restaurants, the company said.
Red Robin restaurants, most are located in Western states, where the minimum wage has risen more quickly.
The Colorado-based chain already eliminated ‘expediters’ who plate the food in the kitchen. They realized a cost savings of nearly $10 million last year.
“We need to do that to address the labor increases we’ve seen,” Red Robin’s chief financial officer Guy Constant told attendees at the ICR retail conference held here.
According to management, the casual dining chain has been investing in ramping up its delivery options. Once the busboys are eliminated existing staff is expected to pick up the slack.
Restaurant consultant John Gordon said costs will definitely be pared down, however, the problem with slashing busboy jobs is that it cuts into customer service.
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