This Denver Shop Is Giving Their Employees A Living Wage

Posted: Aug 27, 2020

Amethyst Coffee Company in Denver has raised its prices by 50%, an effort to both eliminate the tipping system and provide its employees with a stable, living wage.

"If there ever was the time for this, it is now," the local coffee chain announced on Instagram. "We raised our prices to include gratuity and better financial compensation for our team because we need to figure out a more sustainable future for our industry. As always we will field questions."

The company is aiming to pay employees $50,000. The new pay will amount to about $27/week at 35 hours a week, the company said. Before the pandemic, the base pay for employees was $12/hour, plus an average of $9 an hour in tips, Amethyst said.

And even though the prices are rising, the company wrote on Instagram that the difference in prices is really just a rise of about 20-30%, depending on what people tipped.

Dan Price, the head of Seattle-based Gravity Payments, set a base salary of $70,000 for employees in the Boise, Idaho, office last year, when the office opened -- four years after doing the same in Seattle.

Price says the higher wages have transformed the lives of his employees. They have been able to grow their families, more than 10% of employees have purchased a house for the first time and individual 401(k) contributions have more than doubled.

By Leah Asmelash
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