LIBERTY BAR Businesses like mine survive on around a 5 percent net profit margin.
Andrew Friedman is the proprietor of Liberty Bar and the soon-to-open Good Citizen. This piece is part of a series of minimum wage op-eds from activists, business owners, low-wage workers, and experts. If you have an editorial you'd like to submit, send it here.
A few weeks ago, I went to one of my favorite neighborhood restaurants and chose what I thought to be a simple tomato-sauce pasta dish. When it appeared, it looked beautiful and tasted great—so great that I wanted to re-create it at my house for my wife and birthday girl (1-year-old Baby Bowie). I was sure that I could do it—I mean, it was just a simple red sauce, right? But, when asking about the sauce and how to re-create it, I was surprised to find that it took three days to make, using a number of different kinds of tomatoes and ingredients I'd never heard of.
This $15-an-hour mess is just like my ignorant and ill-conceived belief that I'd easily be able to re-create this delicious pasta made by a professional chef. The pro-$15 people are me in that example: They look at an issue that appears simple but never get to the part where they ask the questions necessary to understand the complexities....