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Aussie Cafe Owner Breaks Down In Tears About How Minimum Wage Increase Will Affect His Business

Aussie Cafe Owner Breaks Down In Tears About How Minimum Wage Increase Will Affect His Business

The cafe owner said he will struggle to keep his doors open as rising grocery, electricity, and wage costs continue to rise.

An Aussie cafe owner has broken down during an interview with Sky News Australia over the impact the minimum wage increase will have on his business.

Owner of Appetite Cafe, Phillip Salhab, was asked by Sky News Australia host Peter Stefanovic whether his business will be able to survive the wage hike, especially when you include skyrocketing power bills and grocery costs.

"[The] short answer is no," he said when asked if he could afford to pass on increases.

"While we accept the increase in the minimum wage obviously for our team and others to keep up with cost of living pressures, we as a business cannot afford it."

The Sydney cafe owner teared up telling Stefanovic that he is struggling to make ends meet thanks to ever-increasing cost of living expenses.

"There’s only so much the public wants to pay for a bacon and egg roll," he said.

Sky News Australia

"We have to also take into consideration the cost of coffee going up, all our food and dairy, our bread going up and now we also have to take into consideration staff wages.

"At the end of the day, it’s a business. We’re here to make money. Our profit margin every day gets smaller and smaller and I really question why?

"At the end of the day if there’s nothing to take home ourselves, then why?"

Smiling through his tears, he said the cafe's bacon and egg rolls were 'the best in Five Dock'.

Salhab told Sky News that he already offers above average wages in order to entice potential workers to fill positions at his cafe.

But he explained how the minimum wage increase will see likely see prospective employees asking for even more.

Hero Images Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo

"We’re already offering 20 per cent more than the minimum wage but we’re being asked to pay at least $42 an hour depending on what the role is," he said.

"That’s the going rate at the moment but we can’t afford that."

The Fair Work Commission confirmed on Wednesday (June 15) that it will raise the minimum wage by 5.2 per cent, with Australia’s lowest-paid workers set for a $40 a week pay raise from July 1.

The announcement signals the highest rise since 2006 and will see the national minimum wage set at $812.60 per week. 

Grocery bill inflation is seeing Aussies go as far as snapping stems off broccoli in supermarkets order to combat food price hikes.

Meanwhile, Woolworths has announced a price freeze on almost 200 items until the end of the year to counteract the rising cost of living for Australians.

Even KFC is feeling the pinch and has decided to swap out lettuce in some burgers for cabbage.

Featured Image Credit: Sky News Australia

Topics: News, Australia, Money