Broomfield restaurant adds surcharge to offset minimum wage increase

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BROOMFIELD, Colo. -- Some local restaurants are struggling to stay in business after Amendment 70 boosted the minimum wage from just more than $8 to $12 per hour.

Corona's Mexican Grill in Broomfield added a 10 percent service fee to all bills to keep employees working and menu prices down.

 A notice was posted on the restaurant's website Jan. 1 that warned customers of the added surcharge.

The good news for the restaurant is that many customers are still happy to dine there.

"They posted it and let us know, we were fine with it, we still come," said Tina Scrivner.

"The restaurant will now add a 10% service fee on all checks to help offset the increased labor cost that Amendment 70 has brought us," the notice reads.

"I understand now they have to pay the increase for the staff so it's part of business," Scrivner said.

Customers said the warning is printed on the menus as well.

Colorado Restaurant Association CEO Sonia Riggs said full-service eateries must give more than half their staff a 70 percent increase over the next three years.

She said many will be taking action so they don't have to lay off employees or increase menu prices.

"They need to find creative ways to cope with that, right? They need to keep their doors open. So, we'll see things like surcharges, like increased prices, cutting of employee hours, and probably more likely a combination of those things," Riggs said.

Most customers understand the situation and sympathize with the restaurant.

"Its a substantial increase. It affects your ability to expand, so it does have ramifications," said Chris Johnson.

The restaurant's manager could not be contacted for comment Friday night.