My county could use some more good workers if any of y’all want to move here.
The number of unemployed workers continued to decrease in all metro areas in Wisconsin in September, including in Washington County, whose rate lowered by 0.3 percent for a total 3 percent unemployment rate last month.
Good so the “free” market should result in upward pressure on wages. Will we soon see $15.00/hour wages at Dairy Queen?
If it comes to that, there will be massive investment in technology to reduce staff.
Starting with manfactured dilly bars (vs. in store made).
People prefer in store made, but if I had to pay someone $15/hour to do it, I’d have to raise the price to $3 from $1.69.
If I purchased manufactered, which have improved to being closer to in store quality over years, I could maintain lower price.
So which would you prefer? An unaffordable ice cream treat or maintaining the value at $1.69?
“Unaffordable” meaning that nearly doubling price to compensate for a $15/hour wage will mean probably at least a 30% cut in demand…maybe more.
But I thought the “Free” market was supposed to be elastic both ways! If the workers are supposed to absorb lower wages in time of low demand for workers, shouldn’t they benfit from the low supply of workers by demanding higher wages? Since the low unemployment rate in Washington County is brought about by increasing economic activity, shouldn’t you increased sales more than make up for their proportional wage increase. You mention the economics of Dilly Bars, always a loss leader and traffic builder, and not the better profitablity of the other soft serve products that would be difficult and more expensive to automate. It seems that you are not embracing the management stategies that would allow you to maintain you current profitability while at the same time increasing wages. Perhaps it’s time to go back to UWM for that MBA?
” a $15/hour wage will mean probably at least a 30% cut in demand…maybe more.”
Have you factored in the higher wages many workers will be getting? It’ll probably raise wages for many currently above minimum as well as those at it. All those people will have more disposable income and spend more in stores like yours.
How many teenagers do you employ at $15/hour?
Be interested to know if both of you walk your talk.
If you could pay them anything you wanted per hour, what would that be
Not being snarky
What would a graduated wage scale be for your service business ?
I’d love to see Washington County wages rise as a result of the need for more workers.
Unfortunately though, this post is now being translated into Spanish, Mandarin and Russian, so we’ll soon be seeing any demand for workers be quickly met at the same or lower current wages.
Kevin. Given the fact that you use minimum wage employees to sell franchise created ice cream products in a small town your business model is not that complicated.
You are however, a good example of what’s wrong with small business. To you, it’s not an economic determination of what your employees contribute to the success of your business, it’s a power test to see how you cheaply you can pay and exploit your employees. I’m sure you don’t employ only teenagers (someone has to work during school hours). Do you pay your adult workers more than minim mum wage? Since it appears that you wouldn’t pay them $15/hour even if they were worth it, what do you use to determine their compensation? The legal minimum? Divine guidance?
You can certainly threaten to replace your workers with automation, but the cost of installing equipment like ordering kiosks is huge. The cost would not only include the initial capital investment but also the ongoing operating expense of service support, training, and depreciation. Be honest Kevin, how many small operators like you can finance that level of investment?
It’s not about what I want, it’s about what is the appropriate rate to maintain the business as a going concern.
I could say I wanted to pay the employees $100/hour, but the retail prices that need to be charged to make that happen would put me out of business in 90 days.
My pay scale ranges from $7.75 (14 year olds that just completed training) to $13.15 (my longest duration adult).
$15/hour would easily mean burger prices would have to increase substantially. That means less frequency of customers and less sales volume, thus making the wage of $15/hour even more unsustainable.
I’m certain the typical lefty reaction to thatstatement would be: well you you could just absorb the increased wages from your profits. At that point, I’d no longer be a going concern because I would not put up with having to deal with employees that do not show for work without calling, constantly having to enforce the no cell phones while working rule, listening to the constant shrill whine about needing off every Saturday, employees who put their drinking and partying, and immoral behavior ahead of their job, and the many other crazy things involved with employing teenagers if I could not make some profit (family pay) from dealing with that.
The $15/hour crowd makes me laugh.
Is there a teenager I’d pay $15/hour to? Possibly, but the work habits and work ethics required for that exist are probably somewhere in lefty fantasyland…and it would require a massive loosening of federal and state work rules to allow employee more availability for my small business needs.
It would also involve destroying the liberal scheduling flexibility that teenagers enjoy at my workplace. There are only a handful of days per year where I “pull rank” and say they MUST work. (July 3rd, Memorial Day weekend, and a couple big school tournament wekends in Oct.) And even on those handful of days, most get off for the important stuff like family vacations, I only make work the one’s going to a “party.” I always hear hollowing and whining about that from the teenagers, but remind them I constantly bend to their schedule requests the other 358 days out of the year.
So teenagers would flatly reject the schedule rigidity that would be required to make $15/hour a reality. Schedule rigidity would be required because we would need to save training costs and have highly specialized individuals in constant regular positions, rather than fitting a puzzle of many more part-time kids fitting together in the puzzle.
OR I could invest in technology. When you spend hunderds of thousands of dollars a year on payroll and choking payroll taxes, saving $50,000 a year on payroll using a self order Kiosk sounds pretty good if the kiosk is only 20K for instance.
On the last minimum wage increase, that is how self serve soda came to popularity. Saves a ton of employee time behind the counter. “Free Refills” are a minimal cost next to the cost of the employee pouring the soda.
Just my thoughts for you (and Bystander) to chew on. (pun intended)
I’d love to see an analysis of the costs behind a Dilly Bar. I’ve seen estimates of 26% labor cost (via Heritage) to 30-35% (via Employment Policies Institute, apparently a more intense anti-$15 lobbyist) for your average fast-food restaurant. (Do those estimates include what the owner pays themselves?)
I presume you’re making Dilly Bars during prep hours or slow hours. It’s just one of the activities done during those times. You don’t want employees or managers sitting on their hands. I presume a manager is there all the time that employees are there, and perhaps beyond. You have a fixed minimum labor cost to open the doors. You don’t price Dilly Bars differently based on whether they’re made by Jimmy $7.75 or Boss $13.15.
Couldn’t you inspire your workers to make Dilly Bars at the rate of 254 per hour? How many Dillys per hour can they make now? How many Dillys do you need to make in a week?
If a Buster Bar takes much longer to make than a Dilly Bar, does the retail price correctly reflect the additional labor?
What sort of immoral behaviors are the employees engaged in?
26% Labor cost (without payroll taxes, umemployment taxes, benefits, etc) is pretty standard for industry.
With all payroll taxes and benefit costs, You are talking 30-32% of sales.
The food costs generally run 30-35% of sales in our industry and we have 9% Royalty and ad commitment by contract.
So we are at 70-75% of sales price just on the variable costs (food, labor, and R&A).
That leaves 25-30% for building rent, utilities (Utilities are around 5-7% of sales), property taxes, insurance, garbage pick-up, Repair and Maintanence (2-3%), operating supplies, interest, loan payments, owner profit,etc.
Just increasing labor costs from 26% to 31% of sales (or a mere 20% increase in wages, far less than what we are talking about by going to $15/hour) can wipe away all, or most of the owner’s profit (family salary) in many instances.
Then you are left with price increaes to consumer to compensate, or investment in technology to maintain the industry standard labor of 26%.
OR cut back staff, and expect to stress them even more than what they are stressed in the busy spots at lunch, dinner and after school events.
So if you can find somewhere in there where I can take labor costs from 26% to 40% of sales without losing money, destroying the business, and the jobs….I’m all ears.
I’ll be fascinated to hear that solution.
Maybe if you made Dilly Bars instead of posting on blogs all day you’d be more profitable.
I usually have no less than 10 windows open on my computer.
I’m usually doing administration while writing on the blog to vent my anti-government sentiments when I, pay payroll taxes, file federal and state quarterly unemployment reports, filling out the U.S. Census demand for business economic statistic (which I got out of the blue this week, indicating my participation in economic data survey was MANDATORY or i’d be fined or imprisoned), following up on customer challenges, dealing with OSHA (which I had to do last month resulting from a BS complaint from an ex-employee who got a drunk and disorderly ticket in my parking lot the week prior), dealing with health department (big bru-ha-ha over how we thaw buns. IDQ wants it one way for best product quality. Health Department demands it another way…lots of correspondence over this nonsense. Still not resolved.), then there is the hoops for the health permit, filing the annual W-3’s/W2’s, 940s, 941, WT-7, etc, doing quarterly employer tax returns, dealing with Department of agriculture (follow up from another frivolous complaint from that same ex employee), when i hire emplyees, which is constant, I have to insure they fill out the I-9’s, W4’s, WT-4’s (which I have to fax to state for them to check the teenagers for back child support owed to a ex-spouse they are too young to marry…which is absurd.), colect proper forms of ID for the W-9, prepare the work permit permission slip and insure they got a proper work permit, and that is just the surface of the government end of it. That is before all the invoice and check writing.
Implementing new programs and new equipment has also become a full time job. I also have to keep up our online cake ordering site, online customer portals, including market force, facebook, etc. Deal with missed phone calls and messages. Take care of employee issues, sickness, missed requests off, interpersonal communication problems, etc. Then there is payroll, evaluations, constant food ordering, (I do delegate the putting away, inventoring, and dating of the product.) and follow up with corporate on their inspection programs and new operations they have implemented. Just yesterday IDQ inspected, they want me to implement a “receiving log”. They are big on that now to cut down on pilferage…told them that I don’t have much of a problem with that, but want me to implement anyway despite the extensive time involved to keep up on that.
If that is the only thing I have to follow up on IDQ inspection on, I’m doing pretty well.
So if I had time to just sit and make dilly bars, that would be the most relaxing thing in my day.
I suggest voting for politicians to get government off the small business owner’s back. 50% of my time is spent complying with government nonsense in some fashion….but I get the feeling you want to make that government mandate burden even heavier on the productive.
No good deed goes unpunished in the liberal lexicon.
What do you do all day?
And you could have made how many Dilly Bars instead of going on that tirade?
It’s the “can do” attitude, that’s what I like.
Seriously, though. It’s like you’re saying the United States of American literally depends economically on a certain portion of the labor force making sub-living wages. There’s just no other way.
I don’t believe it for a minute. Seatbelts? We’ll go out of business! OSHA? We’ll go out of business! Minimum wage? We’ll go out of business! Smokestack scrubbers? We’ll go out of business! We’ve been listening to that same song for decades. And watched as the economy doubled. Give it a rest already.
I still haven’t heard Kevin factor in–even slightly–the increased demand he might see as a result of all that extra spending money in the economy thanks to higher wages.
As a committed anti-government guy, could you explain your position on the following:
When you or a customer flush the toilet, where does it go? Who operates and maintains the sewer system? You?
When you wash your hands after the above incident, where does that water come from? Who makes sure it is safe to drink or use in your cut-rate soda?
When you need police or fire assistance, who do you call?
When a customer stops at your establishment, how did they get there? Did they use a road, sidewalk? Who built those facilities?
When you turn on the lights in your business or home, where does that electricity come from? If you are located in New London, Clintonville, Kaukauna, Menasha, Oconto Falls, or a host of other cities in WI that would be from a municipal utility.
Now you will surely advise me that you have more than paid for those services with your overly high taxes, so please do the breakdown on the economies of scale from being part of society in a community versus going it alone and providing all of the above entirely on your own dime. Be specific.
we not be on the same side of many issues but I know you work very hard at making your business one you can be proud of .
Thanks for the information .
So Kevin given your own description of your employees and your business, let me ask you a serious question.
What good does a business like yours do for society?
* Your employees make a sub-living wage with no prospect a merit increase. Given that Washington Co. has a very low unemployment rate is stands to reason that they would be able to find an equivilent bad job somewhere else. So there is no benefit to them from your specific business.
Kevin given your own description of your employees and your business, let me ask you a serious question.
What good does a business like yours do for society?
Your employees make a sub-living wage with no prospect a merit increase. Given that Washington Co. has a very low unemployment rate it stands to reason that they would be able to find an equally bad job somewhere else. So there is no benefit to them from your specific business.
Your customers have a wide range of other food options so the sales dollars that you generate would simply go to another fast food restaurant in the area. So there is no benefit to your customer from your specific business.
By your own admission your income from the profit margin you describe is not lavish, particularly with the wide range of annoyances and challenges you face as a business owner. You could certainly do as well working somewhere else. So there is not a lot of benefit to you from your specific business.
The money you spend in the operation of your business would simply transfer to the food suppliers or taxing authorities that service the operation that would absorb you property and your customers if you went out of business. Again, there is no benefit to them from your specific business.
So again my question is: What good does a business like yours do for society?
I read all that, but I don’t see why the retail cost of a Dilly Bar doubles. How many Dilly Bars in a week? Who makes ’em? When?
Just sketch numbers: If we only consider moving $7.75 to $15 and $13.15 to $20, and nothing else changes: gross revenue doesn’t change, and neither does rent, royalty, wholesale food cost, etc.
Would I be wrong to say an average Wisconsin Dairy Queen has sales of $250K-$300K a year?
I sketched the numbers for you above. Recap. Variables run 70-75% of sales. (26% labor cost as a % of sales without taxes and benefits, 32% labor with payroll taxes and benefits thrown in, 30-35% food costs, 9% R&A, plus fixed costs described above).
If we moved to 40% of sales on labor expense (from 26%) without taxes and benefits (which would be a 50% increase from my current pay scale, which still does not get us to $15/hour), I’m telling you my profit would be less than zero, if sales were the same level.
I simply would not put up with the hassle of running the business for no profit (salary).
If I moved my pay scale to a $15-$20 an hour scale you describe, my labor costs would increase at least 80%, maybe more as a % of sales. My estimate is: such a wage scale would consume 50% of the sales in labor expense with payroll taxes and benefits.
Assuming food costs and Royalty & Ad commitments are the same, we are at about 97% of sales JUST for the variables. Anyone that has variables (food, labor, R&A) over 80% of sales is generally in financial trouble, if not already bankrupt.
How are you going to pay utilities, insurance, rent, interest, debt payment, reapir, garbage pickup, operating supplies, permits, property taxes, loan payments for debt, and my salary on 3% of sales?
I’m good with good government. Bad government, the type liberals advocate is the type of government I dislike.
Water, sewer, police, fire, roads…no problem as long as its managed well, which is a problem in many areas…just look at anything Milwaukee does in any of these areas…horrible management of the basics by liberals.
I’m talking about the government that needlessly hassles day to day activity, see my post above of all the needless nonsense one needs to do to just operate a simple business.
That’s a lot of micro-aggression.
Are you allowed to do that as the kind, tolerant, compassionate, liberal you are.
BTW, my answer is: I send in hundreds of thousands in various tax revenue for liberals to gorge themselves on.
Not enough for you?
Just keep whipping the achievers and say “Ya Mule!”, that will win us over.
So Kevin, do you think there should be a minimum wage at all? If there wasn’t, how low do you think entry-level fast-food wage could go in our area?
You need to be more specific in describing “bad government” versus “good government”. Our current administration has decreased local control and increased big government far beyond anything the “liberals” have ever done. Want proof, attend a city council meeting or county board meeting. Loss of local zoning control should be of great concern to folks like you.
As far as minimum wage, I have always felt that you get what you pay for. And I will gladly pay a premium for a quality product or service. Growing up in small town retail made me appreciate that, as our family always strove to provide some more or better than the competition.. The race to the bottom of the salary scale may make sense to you, but as noted by others, provides nothing to society. And if you have to struggle so mightily to earn a meager profit, why not change careers?
Don’t get me started with Jim Doyle’s DNR shoving $9 million worth of mandates down Kewaskum’s throat…I’m with you on unfunded state mandates….Doyle doubled our water bills hurting business and the poor.
I agree you get what you pay for. My experienced line high school kids get paid more than managers at a well known competitor of mine. I have issues over the years with teenage employees, but if I paid minimum, those issues would be much worse. I know my competitor has much bigger issues with emloyer turnover…..but that does not stop libs from patronizing them. So my answer is: I pay for employee quality I can afford…..like the rest of us!
Still waiting for a solution from any of the libs in the room on how I pay $15-$20 an hour and still stay in business?
You’ve all seen the numbers and got really quiet about how to make it work.
Before last minimum wage raise we employed a special needs person from The Threshold to make dilly bars. She was good at job, but because of her disability she was steady, but slow at doing it.
At the previous minimum wage it was worth it, even at slower pace. When minimum wage went up we had to let her go because we needed a production increase to compensate for higher wage inflicted by government. Alternative was to substantially increase price.
So how high do you want to raise minimum wage to take away more opportunity from the most unfortunate in our society?
Kevin, stop pretending that you’re representing or in any way concerned about the “most unfortunate” or the poor or low wage earners or whomever. Your concern is with your business and yourself. I’m not trying to say that you’re a jerkface. (Another day, perhaps.) I’m just trying to remind everyone that you represent the employer side of the equation–part of, but not a complete breakfast. I would no more look to you for a full answer to these problems than I would look to Exxon Mobile to solve environmental issues.
How many “less fortunate” have you employed, Scott?
I bet it’s none, you FUCKING ASSHOLE.
I guess you will have to explain your comment about Doyle costing Kewaskum $9 million. Without any point of reference that is all hearsay on your part, and BS to the rest of us. And how did Doyle “double your water bills” ? Do you have a clue how water utilities are run?
As pointed out by others previously, you are only concerned about kevin, and don’t let facts or common sense get in the way of your self pity.
Grow a pair and grow up..
That decision was made while I was manager of the restaurant by the, then, owner.
Of course the concern is for the business and myself, I have a wife and 4 kids to support. I have to meet payroll every 2 weeks for the 25 people I have on staff. They depend on their paychecks being “good” and not bouncing, which has never happened in 17 years as owner. I have to meet the constant expectations of the money grubbing tax and spend liberals in D.C. (and Madison) by paying witholding taxes every month or be threatened with fines and imprisonment for not doing so.
In that environment, you better be responsible and reasonable as a business owner, because if you don’t pay your withholding taxes you are treated worse than you average murderous street thug in Milwaukee! Nearly as badly as those in the Chisolm John Doe probe.
Courtesy of the constant hate of achievers in the liberal lexicon.
If it’s so easy, why don’t you provide permannent $15-$20 an hour jobs for teenagers?
Lead by example and I will follow.
I was refering to the DNR mandated upgrades to our pump station and sewer plant in Kewaskum. DNR threatened revoking our waste water discharge permit if we didn’t do what they said. We were always pumping clean water out of plant, Doyle’s DNR just wanted to force upgrade. It cost $9 million between the new pump house and sewer plant. Caused a doubling of the sewer rate to pay for it. Doyle’s fault…his DNR, which was unrelenting in shoving it down our throat even though existing facilities were plenty sufficient.
So I have a bigger “clue” on municipal utilities than you think.
I’ll “grow a pair” as soon as you and any of your fellow liberal ilk explain to me, based on above numbers I shared, how one pays $15-$20 an hour and stays in business in my industry.
I’m still waiting for an answer on how to make it work. (appreciate it if you skip the personal insults like “self-pity”, “clueless”, etc, and get to the meat of how to make your grandiose ideas work.)
Well, your response exemplifies your lack of understanding of how WPDES permits are issued and regulated. “Doyles” DNR didn’t force this down your throat any more than Bush’s EPA did, they(DNR) must have issued notices of violation of the POTW’s violation of discharge limits for a long period of time before anything was “forced down your throat”. Nothing ever happens unless there is a long track record of non-compliance. I’ve got 40+ years in that business on both the regulated and regulator side of the aisle, so don’t try to BS . DNR, both when I worked there and now, bend over backward to get failing plants into compliance. So, if your plant needed upgrades, they were required to meet the permit. That is true for EVERY POTW in the state. That is the price you pay to flush your toilet. Your “clue” on how utilities work, and why you need to meet permit limits is is probably how your community got in that position to begin with.
Bush’s EPA , Doyle’s DNR same thing…radical environmentalists making water unafforable for the poor.
That is where the compassion lacks.
There is clean water, which is what Kewaskum was producing before the $9 million and it’s clean water after the $9 million with no discernable difference on any measured result…what do you call that, besides a war on the poor?
Still have not gone back to the original topic of affording $15-$20 an hour wages…starting to think you got nothing.
Now you are sounding deranged. Do you know who created the EPA? Nixon. Clean Water Act? Nixon. In case you forgot, he was a pretty conservative Republican. I even voted for him. Speaking of “you got nothing”, that is what you have with your ridiculous comments about DNR and EPA….nothing. And you have absolutely no proof that EPA and DNR make water unaffordable for the poor. In 40+ years in the business I have never heard that before. Ever.
As far a minimum wage, my opinion is that it is too low, $15 too high. But pay folks what they are worth. If you want to keep your pay scale low, don’t be disappointed at the work force you get. And don’t take advantage of good workers by keeping your pay scale depressed. Remember, a rising tide lifts all ships.
Do we even agree that the minimum wage should be higher than it is today? Or even that we should have one in the first place? Seems to me, if we’re not agreeing on those things why quibble about dollar amounts?
You are clueless because you are not directly exposed to the way DNR interprets the EPA mandates. It’s almost as bad as the way IRS treats average taxpayers. I suggest you get educated on the subject because you are unprepared to discuss the subject by your last statement about the poor.
Scott and Baldy,
Paying folks what they are worth?
You are better equipped to deal with that subject, on my employee pay, than me? Do you work with the employees when they are horsing around? Do you have to deal with them when they are on their phones while working? Do you think they deserve more when they request off for social events/ partying/underage drinking? ( which pinches the better paid employees to work more often).
When you imply a slacker employee deserves more, by raising minimum wage, the responsible employees who don’t do those things and get paid more, are sent the wrong message about their responsible performance.
So irresponsible/marginal employees deserve more? Hardly.
So when you say minimum wage should be higher, depends who we are talking about.
I already told you my scale ranges from $7.75 for new 14 year old to $13.15 for longest duration adult. If my scale is such an issue….with 3 percent unemployment… Why does my staff even stay?
Answer: I pay better than others for the type of work. I Especially pay better for super responsible, self governing, motivated employee. I fight to keep those. Maybe have 1 or 2 of those right now. They are so few and far between in the culture of entitlement ….it’s like finding a diamond in the rough.
Sure, I’ve had some employees take other jobs, at the lure of more pay from time to time, but they, come back many times realizing that having a good boss, a good, flexible, work environment means a lot as well. They usually come back and share the experience of just how good a workplace my business is with other employees.
So pardon me if I giggle a little when I hear lectures from anyone on what my employee pay should be.
The higher you make minimum wage, the less flexible the work environment will be….and I’ll end up terminating ( vs. warning) over requests off for underage partying/ drinking, cell use on the job, and when I catch them horsing around on the job.
If you want to force work environments into this tense box, teenagers are going to hate it and I’d say many of them will lose job opportunity to learn those job skills resulting from these liberal demands.
I haven’t even addressed the issue of: I’d easily cut 5 positions on a minimum wage raise to $10 an hour by converting to manufactured dilly bars vs. in store made. Self order kiosks would be immediately invested in.
You both want a higher wage then minimum. I have that. I’d say my average wage is about $9.50 an hour. What are you complaining about?
You should thank me for being the flexible, enlightened, boss that I am…. Trust me, workplaces, especially at my competitors can be tough for teenagers.
….but I will not hold my breath for libs to thank me for job and opportunity creation.
I’m still waiting for both of you to point to where the bottom line numbers work at a minimum wage of $15/hour?
If I said pretty please?
Kevin is busting his ass running a nice local business and employing people. And being able to be a small business owner allows him to build some very modest wealth for himself and his family, an opportunity not available to the tens of thousands of employees soon to be working for our one insurance company, two banks and three airlines that will be allowed to exist.
He’s simply venting about how big govt. liberalism has made life more complicated and problematic with certain regulations and taxes that can be tough for small business people to comply with. Regulations and taxes that didn’t exist 30 years ago back when there still was fire/police protection, clean water, etc.
Very telling to watch the liberals attack the guy, claim he didn’t build that and now suggest if he can’t make it that he should go out and look for some different job or career as if those opportunities are a dime a dozen. Let’s keep putting good guys like Kevin out of business with these regulations and taxes so we can all have one meal choice, the soylent green served up by Michelle Obama from the processing plant owned and controlled by Al Gore.
I just want to know which location he operates as I need to make sure my family patronizes the place since the two locations in WB closed.
I’m not asking you to pay anyone “what they’re worth.” I’m asking if we should have a minimum wage or not and if so whether it should be higher than it is.
The point is: the higher you make minimum wage, the more you deny opportunity to the disabled, the teenagers that lack proper work skills, and those just looking to work when it suits them. I have quite a few employees in last 2 categories.
I would like to see it rolled back to the previous level, to restore opportunity to those with disabilities we could employ, but I know liberals lack the compassion to do that, so I’ll settle for just leaving it alone.
What I don’t want to see is different wage minimums that my competition can utilize but I can’t. That is happening in some cities around US.
I own Kewaskum DQ. I did look at saving West Bend DQ’s from closing with other franchisees when we knew it was going to happen, but the numbers to make it work ( including modernization on transfer requirement by corporate IDQ were huge). A couple of us current franchisees have been tossing around building a new one in West Bend, but the new franchise agreement is too lopsided against franchisee. We are working on that, as I am a board member of our national franchisee association. The hurdle to DQ returning to WB is the corporate franchise agreement. It’s not just an issue in our system it’s a problem in all franchise systems.
Kevin–thanks for running a great American small business. I’ll be sure to stop in when traveling up Hwy 45. Keep fighting the good fight.
As for these “dead-end” jobs, my wife worked at WB DQ in high school. Was great opportunity for her to earn very needed money for college where she later earned advanced degree.
I’m here at DQ on a Sunday, was my scheduled day off to spend with family…doing Drive-thru as we speak because I had 3 employees call in sick. Could only get 1 employee to come in. 1 employee is legitimately sick, other 2 I have my suspicions they are not…but they hang themselves on social media, usually. I’m nearly 100% right when I know employees are “snowing” me on being sick, and 2 of them gave me that vibe.
…so these are the same employees these libs think deserve $15/hour.
DQ was my high school job as well and decided to buy the place after college. Worked full time to pay my way through, did not borrow for college at all. Personally, my time at UWWC was well spent, but UW-Milwaukee was a waste of time. Have a UW-finance degree, but it’s increadible that school only has a 25% graduation rate. UW-Milwaukee is hampered by the social promotion students from MPS that are woefully unprepared to be in college. UW-Milwaukee is a remedial factory to fix the failed MPS grads.
Like I said earlier, I have 40+ years in the water business both as a regulator, and now as a regulated entity. I know exactly how DNR “interprets” EPA law and policy via the WPDES permit. I guess we can agree to disagree on that. As far as MW, I no longer care one iota what you pay your employees. But I will never stop at your DQ for my favorite Blizzard.
You need to look up the definition of “liberalism” or liberal in the economic sense. A liberal, according to Adam Smith is a free market, no rules or regulations sorta guy. Just like Kevin would endorse.
I asked how little do you think someone could be paid.
I don’t quite understand how you’re supposed to consistently apply one’s beliefs and principles to determine that one government-set minimum wage is better than another. What makes the previous minimum better than the current minimum?
If you’re opposed to the minimum wage and would rather not see one at all, just say so. I’d love to hear what you think the market wage would be for that 14-year-old new entrant to the work force.
There’s always a glut of new entrants to the market, right? Couldn’t you get them down to $1 an hour or so, just to give them a little training so they could work up to $2 an hour?
Problem is: there is no one size fits all answer. There are kids I hire, that after a while, only deserve $5/hour because of their work ethic and work habits.
Instead of getting that option, I just have to terminate them rather than pay them $7-$8 and hour.
Speed and ability to think quickly is essential for me…that leaves those who may have a learning disbility, for instance, on the outside in terms of opportunity because they cannot keep up with the production I need for current minimum.
So it’s impossible for me to answer the question without treating and evaluting individual ability, which varies widely.
Appreciate the patronage. Thanks!
Should we have one or not?
If you believe in the most opportunity for the most marginal employees in the workforce…no.
I’m torn over the idea that maximum opportunity should be afforded to the most marginal in our society vs. the fact that minimum wage drives them from the workforce and onto welfare and denies workplace opportunity.
If I am blind to that issue, as most liberals are, then I’m OK with the minimum wage as its sits today.
However, I’m not blind to the hurt this liberal policy causes.
Don’t dislocate your elbow patting yourself on the back. Two local independent grocery stores each employ a number of developmentally disabled and physically staff stocking shelves, bagging groceries, even at the check-out. I have know some of them for years. Many are paid above MW. And both establishments are thriving.
Those specific jobs are well suited for that industry.
If you have suggestions for my establishment, since those type of jobs don’t exist in my industry, I’m all ears.
…and I do have my janitor position being “shopped” for someone with disabilities a couple days a week, we are waiting for appropriate fit to the task.
Kevin, you believe that having a minimum wage (or a higher one, say $10) would result in MORE utilization of programs like TANF and SNAP? You are aware that many MW earners are already utilizing these programs, right?
So you couldn’t have one of the folks I described making Dilly Bars? Is it too technical? But you are more than willing to pay an able bodied person less than MW if you could. Sweet deal. For you….
Wages, work ethic, and efficiency work both ways, don’t they? It sounds like you’re beating your head against wall with entry-level workers. You’re saying that many of them don’t clean up their act after you’ve yelled at them about their off-duty immorality and poor habits while at work?
Why the heavy dependence on the worker who jumps at $7.75? Might not you save yourself a great deal of headache by setting your own minimum of $10 an hour and then improving your ability to find proper employees who, in your opinion, are worth $10 an hour, and might be twice as productive?
85% of my staff are teenagers that are under 18, so they do not apply for the programs you describe. If they are part of a household that does apply for thoe programs, that is a function of the parents employment situation.
None of my adults on staff are on these programs. Many of them just work to get out of the house becuse their family owns a farm, or spouse just earning some supplemental income to the other spouse’s salary. So your liberl talking point does not apply to my staff.
So I should NOT work with those that lack proper work skills and give those entry level teenagers an opportunity to improve and become part of the regular work environment? I should just fire them and upgrade?
Doesn’t that lack compassion?
I’ve been in the business 25 years and it never ceases to amaze those that never run a resaurant in their life know what should be done.
Making dilly bars can be a difficult task to do well, and efficiently, depending on the disbility to overcome. The last minimum wage raise really took the efficiency requirement out of reach….but I’m sure you will suggest some sort of government subsidy now that liberal policies have killed this.
You’re not in business to educate entry-level workers. You’re there to make a profit and maximize profit.
You claimed there’s a fraction of teens who aren’t worth $5 an hour, that there are some who function at $7.75, and that your longest-serving employees are worth $13. I suggest that your better workers don’t leave when you pay them more than minimum.
Are you the best person to do all that tax-related paperwork?
Just shut your fucking mouth, John. Kevin probably does more to develop the workforce than some fucking jizz stain like you.
“So your liberl talking point does not apply to my staff.”
Perhaps not. At least not right now. But surely you’re aware that it does apply in other workplaces. And so what if dependent teenagers get a raise? Maybe they’ll work less and study more.
Of course I’m here to train entry level workers. Do you think they drop out of the sky trained to do the job?
Who I think can be trained and improved, work skill wise, and those that show no effort, or lack the ability during the training period, and should be let go, is for me to decide as the owner.
I detest rules/laws/mandates force my decisions to be harsher and less compassionate….and raising the minimum wage does that.
People get paid more at my place the more they can demonstrate getting things done without constant supervision, that includes doing customer service well without me having to oversee it. Doing the job well without supervision is a constant problem for most teenagers. You imply that my staff should be rewarded for something other than that…. How many businesses do you run?
So then based on other workplaces, I should be punished?
That is the basic problem with liberalism most of the time, punishing those who are trying to get it right.
You saw the numbers above what $15/hour minimum wage means: staff cutbacks.
Did you ever stop to think that one of the ways we combat $15/hour is: me and my wife may work the store a whole lot more? What will end up suffering? Our community and civic involvement for starters.
My wife loves to hand make specialized pillow cases for children at Milwaukee Children’s Hospital in her spare time. that will have to be cut out if we have to work the store to keep the numbers in line from a $15/hour mandate. I would have to cut back my time with Kiwanis which I’m starting to question when we give education awards to send kids to be screwed up by liberal university campuses.
You also have to remember, when I, or my wife are working, we count as 2 employees because of our experience. So if you think both of us in the store is a good thing….4 employees are cut back when we are there together, not 2.
Am I best person to do all tax related paperwork?
Probably not, but,
1.) I do all the withholding and tax paperwork for my church as treasurer, church cannot afford to pay someone to do it, so I just save the 4K for my business and do my company tax work as I do the church cycle.
2.) It’s way too important to delegate interaction with regulatory authority. The frivolous OSHA complaint generated by ex-employee for instance, I had to consult a lawyer to insure I carved a proper response.
I do pay someone to prepare my 80 something page corporate return and 40 somethng page personal return.
When I hear liberals say we need to make government bigger, more intrusive, and feed it even more resources as a matter of policy, I just cringe.
Kevin, you jump to many conclusions and make many assumptions.
When I asked why you don’t offer a higher starting wage and attempt to attract a slightly higher class of worker, it was a question, not an imperative. Why not let some other company perform some minimal training in fast-food and customer service, and you skim the cream? Culver’s, for example, as I’m sure you know, starts minors at the minimum but starts adults at just over $10.
I’ve been employed at my own businesses for nearly thirty years, (more, I guess, because I worked my way through UW-Madison on computer gigs) involved in several successful startups and sell-offs, and now a pleasant consultancy. Lots of small-business owners and entrepreneurs in my family tree! One branch homesteaded outside West Bend, in fact, and a cousin started a company called Serigraph.
Generally, employee stealing from other competitors is uncouth. The few times I caught someone doing that to me about 10 years ago, I made it a policy to assault, and steal their good employees. So that kind of thing turns into a war. I’m only really into war against hurtful liberal policies. (The competitors that did employee stealing from me are no longer in business.)
I could pay more to start, if I ever advertised I was hiring. I hire on the gravity of alawys accepting applications anytime someone comes into ask (retain them until I need to hire) and in store references from good, existing staff.
So since I do not advertise hiring, don’t think it would make much of a difference in terms of starting wage. Don’t get me wrong, I largely make good hiring choices, but once in a while you hire a clunker…that would happen even at a higher starting wage.
I like the policy of I’ll train you and give you a chance…then prove to me you are worth more by showing me you can get to my level of efficiency, then you can get a raise. My best employee can only get 60-70% of the way there. She gets largest amount of pay/hour on crew. Even that employee will admit I can take orders and move the busy spot, well, faster than anyone.
So paying people more in my industry is foolish until you see how well they can do it.
Depending on previous industry experience, I will start adults at around $10 an hour. If they are from another DQ and moved here, I may consider higher.
However, I have had ZERO turnover in adults in last 5 years, even though I’ve steadily added adults in last 2 years.
My teenage turnover is far less than industry norm as well.
I guess I’m a bit more free-market than you. Advertising sends signals to the market. Employees are free to switch jobs – that’s not “poaching.” Verifiable past wages (as well as references you can call) are also a signal to you that someone was able to do their last job.
By your own reporting, adults are working better for you than teens.
You seem to like to inject yourself. The other day I was reading about methods of determining readiness and value when selling a small business. One rule of thumb asked if the business could run itself for a week or two if the owner was completely unavailable.
Perhaps you could resolve you employee problem by expanding your hiring area to include Milwaukee. Just how many Black, Hispanic, or Asian do you employ now?
Fuck you, Bystander.
The “poaching” I was refering to is when the other employer steps on your premise and attempts to recruit/steal employee in front of you.
If the employee sees another job and wants to trade their flexible workplace for an inflexible workplace for more money, I don’t have an issue with that. 7 times in 10 they come back.
I don’t have an issue with my hiring practices as they are today. I do have a problem when liberals want to inject a $15/hour demand into it. It will destroy opportunity for many young people was point I ws trying to get acrosss. I will be forced to be less compassionate about teaching workplace skills.
Liberals lack compassion in general when they support policies like this.
I don’t ask race and am prohibited by law in asking that. So I don’t know how many. Frankly, I don’t care. It’s about ability and content of character.
There is no room for liberal racists in my world.
I did hire a girl who I’m fairly sure was African American back in June. (not 100% sure, because I don’t ask). She was unable to get her original birth certificate from Milwaukee County Couthouse to get her work permit. So ridiculous liberal government hurdles kept her unemployed. I was looking forward to having her on staff, she had an excellent, smiling, personality. If she ever gets it resolved, I’ll still put her on staff.
When will the liberal ractists ever stop hurting African Americans with needless government regulation?
Kevin, what about the effect of all those lower income people who now have more money? Surely they spend it, as low income people are known to do (rather than buying CDs or something). What becomes of all that new demand? Does it have an effect on businesses like yours?
For the sake of argument let’s assume employees spend 100% of the incremental raise to $15 an hour at my establishment….it would not make up for the cost.
You have to account for a chunk of that employee raise going to more federal withholding, state withholding, SS/FICA, employers increase FICA costs, Employers increased FUTA and SUTA taxes, etc.
Then you have to figure the 9% Roylty and Ad commitment on the added incremental sales by conract and 30-35% food costs on incremental sales.
So let’s say $15/hour incrementally cost $100K a year and that entire sales volume came back to me 100%. After tax deductions from liberal gorging government and additional taxes to employer, we are left with about $75K net. Let’s say they spend 100% of that at my DQ only. $7000 has to go to royalty and ad and $25,000 to the incremental food costs, that leaves $35,000 to cover the $100,000 wage increase. (assuming labor does not increase in man hours and other costs are “fixed”, which they are not. Adding $35,000 in incremental sales requires more man hours, so we are ignoring this cost in this example.)
So to pay for this, my sales would have to increase $350,000 minimum, by my estimate. That is a wild assumption. There are Subways that don’t even do $350,000 a year in sales volume around here!
So even with crazy assumptions, your theory does not work.
Open your own goddamned fucking business if you want people to be paid more, you fuckwit.
“When I hear liberals say we need to make government bigger, more intrusive, and feed it even more resources as a matter of policy, I just cringe”.
Have you been paying any attention to what has been going on under the dome in Madison for the last 5 years??? The current administration, the party of small government, has increased centralized control over local units of government and school districts like never before. They have taken away local control on issues as varied as shoreland zoning, cell tower siting, the ability of local units to tax and hold referndums, frac sand mining, metallic mineral mining, etc., etc, etc..
If you are as involved in local affairs as you claim, you surely aren’t paying attention..
Small potatoes next to the power the DNR wields on us to destroy the poor and make water unaffordable.
My battle is to stop further infliction of liberal DNR mandates on this community so the poor can afford water.
Had a conference call this week to deal with the mess that is our Sewer bonds from the previous forced DNR mandates, so we don’t have to raise rates further!
I’m big picture focused, not worried about the liberal small potatoes issues you are worried about.
Please look up the meaning of “liberal” in the economic context. And read Adam Smith. And quit using “liberal” as a derogatory term, if you rally don’t know what it means in your context. Buzz words and jargon never serve anyone well..
Have you noticed who is running DNR? A walker appointee with a chamber of commerce mentality. You are just blowing smoke.
All the infliction and hurt on this community by DNR was under Doyle.
DNR is better under Walker. I think there might be some reasonableness on this phosphorus mandate under Walker. So that is encouraging. Doyle would have made water unaffordable to the poor had he continued.
If you interpret “liberal” as derogatory, would you prefer Stalinist, socialist, or authoritarian to describe big government, liberal policy?
I’m flexible… and sensitive.
So having clean water for our generation and those to follow is wrong? And everybody else in the State can do it but is a burden on Kewaskum? You really need to get a better handle on what responsibility a community has when it obtains a WPDES permit. Centralized wastewater treatment is far more efficient and less costly than individual treatment. You need to look big picture and long-term. You obviously aren’t old enough to remember the water quality issues we had even as recently as the 1970’s.
The “making water unaffordable for poor people is a nonstarter. It just isn’t true, you know it.
And I’ll take any or all of your alternative descriptions of the current administration in Madison..
And, after reading for too many of your comments I have come to the conclusion that you are far from flexible, and no at all sensitive to those who have other opinions.
There is clean water, then there is wasting money.
Our existing sewer plant was meeting the clean water requirments and DNR forced us to move the pump station to the cost of $4.5 million, simply because they did not like it where it was. Then during that construction project, a man hole was left off sanitary sewer and it rained 12 inches and the river ran full bore into the old plant. 500,000 gallons of river water ran out the other end. (IT was the 100 year flood.) Based, on that flimsey nonsense, DNR forced us to replace the plant, to tune of $7 million.
Water in Kewaskum is no cleaner than it was, and residents are stuck with a ridiculous $11 million bill which is still killing us 10 years later!
When people like me call for common sense, we are accused of wanting dirty water, which is a lie. If you care about clean water, stop leting MMSD dump poop in the lake every time it drizzles!
I care more about the poor of the community being able to afford water, than being forced by Stalinists to spend millions of dollars with no appreciable effect on water cleanliness!
You haven’t made any points to justify your criticism of “Doyles DNR”.
If your plant was meeting WQ standards, there had to be a reason for DNR requiring the lift station to be moved. DNR and EPA require an extensive Cost/Benefit analysis, (as does the PSC) and justification for major system work. You can’t just say DNR “did not like where it was” as justifying your position, because that isn’t the way it works. And the consulting engineer hired by the community knows that as well. Zero credibility for this claim.
If a manhole was left off, who did it, why? Did the flooding cause physical damage to the plant that couldn’t be repaired? Was the culprit found negligible? If it was the contractor, did your insurance carrier go after their performance bond? And the “dagger” on your point here is that 500,000 gallons (.5 MGD) really isn’t very much water in the big scheme of sewer plants. A plant for a community the size of Kewaskum probably has a .5 MGD reserve capacity built into the plant (if built after the late ’70’s). Zero on this one as well.
You have provided absolutely no proof that your discharge is no cleaner than it was before, yet continue to back that dead horse. If you know as much as you claim, where are the DMR’s for pre and post plant construction? Prove that what you say is true? But you haven’t, and can’t.
And bringing up the MMSD puts the frosting on your ignorance of discharge requirements. Compare MMSD performance today with 1980. Then apologize..
And, like I said earlier, in 40+ years in the business I have never heard anyone ever say that compliance with a WPDES permit made clean water unaffordable to the poor.
Stick to dilly bars and leave the water quality to those with the knowledge and experience…
“And, like I said earlier, in 40+ years in the business I have never heard anyone ever say that compliance with a WPDES permit made clean water unaffordable to the poor.”
Then you have not been listening very hard. When the average water bill is $1500 a year for someone making $30 k. that is unaffordable.
Your attitude personifies the giant liberal problem these good conservative communities must constantly deal with.
What really frosts all of us is MMSD is exempted from all the stringent stuff and dirties up the clean water we send down the river while communities up stream have to spend millions on the same exact clean water with ratcheted standards so MMSD can just dirty it up.
It’s utter nonsense.
Nothing you said changes my earlier post. You are the only one to make that claim. Ever. And $30K/year, is that a two income family at minimum wage making Dilly Bars?
And your reference to MMSD and their permit requirements again highlights your lack of knowledge (or is it willful ignorance) regarding the WPDES discharge standards and permitting process. You are doing your constituents a disservice by being so under-informed, or the consultant hired by the Village isn’t doing a very good job. Or both.
So in your mind a “good conservative community” need not be concerned about water quality, or that of the citizens downstream. It’s all about the “me” and the “now”, for a good conservative, right? Years ago a good conservative would have been interested in looking ahead, not pushing off bills until later (see transportation borrowing), etc. My how times change.
Your last post personifies the liberal insensitivity to the poor when it comes to affordable water.
I’m keeping your statement for future use.
There is no clean water argument. Kewaskum was emitting clean water before the forced$9 mil spend and is still producing clean water after with no appreciable difference.
What is the same is water regulators letting liberal polluters from MmSD still dump poop in the clean water we send them every time it drizzles dirtying it right up!
That is a liberal war on the poor of my community and they end up with dirty water anyway because MMSD is run by liberals and liberals, in the end support dirty water in actions.
“Kewaskum was emitting clean water before the forced$9 mil spend and is still producing clean water after with no appreciable difference.”
Show some proof. How about a DMR review to prove it? As Village President you have easy access to all the reports, studies, monitoring, consultants recommendation, state order, revised WPDES permit, etc that went into the requirement for the upgrade. It is all written down and accessible, so why not be up front and show the proof rather than just keep spewing the BS.
Your last paragraph really tells the whole story about you; uninformed, willfully ignorant, and more than willing to prove it to anybody without shame. As an alleged christian, isn’t lying a sin?
Maybe Jesus cleans the water in Kewaskum.
You could always move to Milwaukee. We have plenty of cheap water here.
Where would you like the proof mailed?
I’d be willing to include the 86% sewer rate raise needed to pay for the plant vote and discussion. (I voted “no”). The original debate about the plant requirment from DNR. I voted “no”. Even though water quality would not have changed, we were threatened with fines and penalties if we refused to do it. That threat is why 5 of 7 trustees voted to move ahead. They felt like the mafia had them by the shorthairs on it. So don’t even pretend the WPES permit is some sort of honest process. It’s done under threats, fines, and penalties, even though the requirments mean nothing to water quality!
I’ll debate you in public, anytime, anywhere on this! We can charge $5 admission to go to poor people who can’t afford their water bill.
Are you game?
Not for long. When community leaders upstream of Milwaukee demand MMSD be held to the same insane clean water standards these communities are held to, Milwaukee water rates will triple! (that means MMSD can’t ever dump poop in lake ever again…don’t think MMSD can achieve that for less than tripling of sewer rates….and that is just to stop the poop polluting, we haven’t even adressed the real standards sewer plants are held to around here.)
Then you will have more expensive water and a ridiculous crime rate to deal with.
Naturally, I don’t want Milwaukee to be treated badly, like DNR has treated the poor around here. The solution is to have reasonable water standards with rational cost/benefit analysis. Milwaukee should at least stop dumping the poop and at least get to the standards Kewaskum was held to prior to sewer plant upgrade. Then we can talk about MMSD getting to the current standards Kewaskum and surrounding communities are being held to.
We didn’t have any sense of fairness under Doyle. It’s gotten better under Walker, but pick and choose clean water enforcement huge problem.
Why clean water to insane, irrational cost/benefit anlysis, if Milwaukee is under no standards by comparison and they just dirty the water up when our clean water gets to them?
Baldy will never answer that one.
His answer is: Milwaukee is dumping less poop than in 1980. Kewaskum never dumped poop and was forced to do $9 million in replacement spending, nearly bankrupting the community and the clean water quality is literally the same.
Post it here. Include it all, don’t cherry pick. Include the reasons your facility had to be upgraded, the order from DNR, and the revised WPDES permit. Overview of the DMR’s would be nice. But, again, don’t cherry pick. All that should be included in your facility plan develpoed by your consultant.
After further thought I realize that some additional comments were appropriate, to wit;
” Even though water quality would not have changed, we were threatened with fines and penalties if we refused to do it”. The enforcement process for any DNR action resulting in fines is a long, open, and even handed process, with multiple routes for appeal and negotiation (DOJ actually handles the process if it gets this far, which is rare). And it takes major failure of the permit holder to keep the plant working at permitted discharge levels to result in anything even close to the situation you describe. You never have said what the problem was, P too high, flow too high, not meeting BOD, SS or other permit requirements for the receiving water? Or was your plant undersized and prone to bypass? You need to provide that information to maintain any credibility. As for a debate, based on your knowledge of WPDES permits, as exhibited so far, it would be unfair to you and anyone so foolish to pay $5 for you to become a public embarrassment.
” When community leaders upstream of Milwaukee demand MMSD be held to the same insane clean water standards these communities are held to”.
“Milwaukee should at least stop dumping the poop and at least get to the standards Kewaskum was held to prior to sewer plant upgrade. Then we can talk about MMSD getting to the current standards Kewaskum and surrounding communities are being held to.”
Once again you prove to the world that you don’t understand the permitting process and discharge requirement. Kewaskum has different standards than Milw because you send your sewage to different receiving waters. At least make an attempt to get up to speed if you want to make a rational attempt at discussing this issue.
C/B analysis is a federal requirement. It would have been the same if walker or santa claus were governor.
“Milwaukee is dumping less poop than in 1980”. That is the one thing you said that is true.
Another question for you: Did Kewaskum receive any state or federal loans or grants for the upgrade? Did they apply or were they eligible? Be careful how you answer, as this may be where you stick your foot in your mouth..
It comes down to this regarding position the subject; you are either sadly under informed on what happened, or willfully ignorant and disingenuous.
Post it here?
That will take forever.
I did enjoy your speech on how fair and wonderful the DNR is as regulatory authority. It’s almost believable as suggesting the IRS hotline for alcohol detox counseling.
“Kewaskum has different standards than Milw because you send your sewage to different receiving waters.”
This is an excuse so Milwaukee does not have to clean up its act. Liberals at MMSD have tremendous clout to get themselves exempted from clean water regulation. As long as Milwaukee dirties it all up, anyone defending MMSD on any level, does not care about clean water in a serious manner.
Let me know when you want to get beyond the “Milwaukee pollutes less now than in 1980 argument”, when unsustainable and unreasonable DNR mandates are forced on a community that has always had a clean act.
You are the one making excuses. If you had the information, or even had some semblance of an understanding of it, you could get it posted here.
The rest of my comments are true, regardless if you believe them. And now I’ll have to drop to you level, will no longer say your are uninformed and disingenuous, but I’ll call you a liar. A bald faced and blatant liar..
You can’t defend your position, won’t provide any proof, so sir, you are a liar. Simple as that.