New Seattle laws mean changes ahead, no more business as usual

Tam Nguyen, owner of Tamarind Tree restaurant in Seattle, says for his employees to get the $11 minimum compensation, he will have to make some adjustments, such as raising menu prices in the future and possibly opening a new restaurant in a city without a $15 an hour minimum wage law – Vancouver, British Columbia.

“They’re business friendly compared to Seattle,” he said about the Emerald City’s neighbor to the north,” he said. “Right now, we are trying to be streamlined in our operation first.”

He adds the new minimum-wage law prevents any future growth due to the increased costs of doing business.

Being streamlined means cutting the number of employees from over 50 to about 40 now. “Some of them, we have to let them go, and some of them, we have to cut back their hours,” said Nguyen, who is also president of the Seattle neighborhood organization Friends of Little Saigon.