Restaurant Workers Average Hourly Wage Is Officially Over $15

The pandemic has been notoriously difficult for those in the restaurant industry. According to the National Restaurant Association, by December 2020, the impact of the virus was so severe that over 110,000 eateries had decided to shut down in the U.S. As per Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research at the National Restaurant Association, the vaccines are making it a lot easier for many individuals to embrace dining once more and visit their favorite eateries. That said, they still want to see more "off-premises" food options. At the same time, Riehle believes that indoor dining remains relevant. "Both will continue to be key for industry growth," Riehle noted.

As the industry continues to cope with the pandemic, restaurant workers are receiving a much-needed boost. As reported by The Washington Post, average salaries have crossed $15 an hour in eateries and supermarkets. This is an important number considering that it marks an entirely new milestone in the restaurant industry. Many businesses are trying their hardest to recruit new workers, which is leading to an increase in wages.

This is a major development

Considering that many in the restaurant business get paid less than $15 every hour, this is a big win for those in the industry (via The Washington Post.) Of course, average salaries still don't define minimum wage, but it's a ray of hope. Major brands such as CVS, Target, Best Buy, and Costco have made the decision to stick to at least $15. This has been a long, tough fight. For almost 10 years, professionals have been doing everything they can to support the "Fight for $15" initiative. 

The state of the industry has played an important role in giving restaurant workers more control. "We're in a situation where the bargaining power and the labor market has shifted toward job seekers, especially in recent months," Nick Bunker, economic research director at the Indeed Hiring Lab, told CNBC. However, some feel that there is a long way to go before industry workers can feel at ease. Adam Ryan, an employee at Target explained that the industry is simply not able to do much for its workers at the moment. "If they announce that they're going to start paying $20 or $25 an hour tomorrow with full-time status, I guarantee you that there would be a lot more applications coming in," he stated.