Super Bowl Sunday: Local restaurants tackling minimum wage increases with price hike

Super Bowl Sunday: Local restaurants tackling minimum wage increases with price hike
Source: Tucson News Now

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Restaurants across the Tucson area bumped up their prices due to the minimum wage increase that hit at the start of the year. That includes Wings Over Broadway, one of many local fan-favorites for the Super Bowl.

JJ Esquibel, the restaurant's owner told Tucson News Now that it's not just the increase to minimum wage affecting prices. It's producers and suppliers charging more.

Esquibel tackled these issues with a slight hike in their prices. By upping the cost of menu items by about 10 percent, it's how Wings Over Broadway kept up with the economy.

"We in reality didn't raise our prices too much. We're still competitively priced with the people we'd say are our competitors," said Esquibel.

The restaurant serves up thousands of wings on Super Bowl Sunday.

Last year they sold more than 18,000 wings. This year staff hope to score big again.

Esquibel expects a big crowd on Sunday, despite the bump in prices.

But for some customers, like Caitlyn Testa, it's enough to keep them home for the big game.

Testa told TNN, "It's going to be way cheaper. I can make just as good as a meal as I can going out."

She said since restaurants across town started charging more, she hasn't been out as much.

"We don't want to go out as much. If they're going to just increase our minimum wage then increase our prices, I'm right back where I started," Testa explained.

That's not the mindset of all customers. Esquibel said many have been understanding, explaining it's a small price to pay to keep it local.

"Stores, restaurants, everything that's locally owned -- if they stay filled, it really helps us to maybe not have to increase prices," Esquibel described.

Wings Over Broadway isn't alone, several other restaurants and pizza places in Tucson added extra cost onto their delivery fees.

It's something many people may notice when they place their orders for Sunday's big game.

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