Fox Business Network host Stuart Varney suggested Wednesday that he will tip restaurant servers less if the minimum wage goes up.
“If I walk into a restaurant, and I know that the waiter or waitress is making $15 an hour, way more than they used to make the previous year, I’m going to think, ‘wait a minute, am I going to give you 20 percent, 15 percent, 10 percent or whatever?’ ” the millionaire TV host asked.
Varney made the comment while speaking with Apple-Metro CEO Zane Tankel in a segment Wednesday on increases to the national minimum wage.
Tankel, who operates the parent company of Applebee’s, said he hadn’t seen any data supporting the idea that higher minimum wages resulted in smaller tips for servers, but said it could be a possibility.
Varney also warned that hikes to the minimum wage would lead employers to cut low-paying jobs.
“I think this is a tragedy because all those entry-level positions are going because some people now get $15 an hour,” Varney said.
Tankel said he was “100 percent” with Varney on his stance, adding that minimum wage increases are “all done under the guise of helping the working man” but don’t help those whose jobs are cut as a result.
Raising the federal minimum wage has been a topic of debate in recent years. Minimum wage hikes took effect in 18 states on Jan. 1 of this year.
The minimum wage in Washington state rose 50 cents to $11.50 an hour, the highest statewide minimum in the nation. Over the next three years, the wage will rise to $13.50 an hour, thanks to a ballot measure approved by voters in 2016.
Mainers will see their minimum wages rise the most, from $9 an hour to $10 an hour, an 11 percent increase. Voters approved a ballot measure in 2016 that will eventually raise the wage to $12 an hour by 2020.