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Seattle Restaurant Chain Files For Bankruptcy, Says Minimum Wage Increase A Factor

Restaurants Unlimited, which runs several restaurants in the Seattle area, is filing for bankruptcy — and they say the rise in minimum wage has played a role.

Its restaurants can be found throughout the city and include Henry’s Tavern, Palomino Restaurant and Bar, and Cutter’s Crabhouse.

The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and according to their filing documents, they are blaming minimum wage hikes in states they have business locations.

In an email, Restaurants Unlimited said, “We fully intend to operate as usual throughout the restructuring process, without meaningful impact on our day-to-day business.”

The company said that wage hikes have significantly increased their labor costs and “have had a serious impact on the economics of the business.”

The company says in some places where they have restaurants, minimum wage has gone up between 35 to 70 percent.

Seattle’s minimum wage has gone from $9.47 to $16 an hour over the past three years, according to Restaurants Unlimited’s initial filing.

That rise, along with two underperforming new restaurants, is partly why the company is filing for bankruptcy.

A spokesperson for Restaurants Unlimited says they have decided to sell its business because they say it’s the best course for future growth.

Despite filing for bankruptcy, Restaurants Unlimited says it still generates $170 million in revenues.

Story cited here.