Help wanted

My favorite fast food spot is Zantigo on West Seventh Street at the southwest edge of St. Paul. It is a former Zapata and Taco Bell outlet that is now part of a strictly local chain. I go back to the Zapata days. I’ve been a customer all the way along since 1969 or so.

The local chain has taken to closing on Sundays because of staffing issues. I don’t think it intends to resume Sunday service now even if it can. The location on West Seventh Street also closes early because of staffing issues. It closes Monday through Saturday at 8:00 p.m. The other locations are able to stay open until 9:00 or 10:00 p.m.

In the CNN town hall with Anderson Cooper this past Thursday Biden talked about the avoidance of work by minimum-wage workers. Biden said that Americans are rethinking minimum-wage or low-paying jobs: “People are now using this as an opportunity to say, ‘Wait a minute, do I want to go back to that $7 an hour job?’”

I think Biden is off on his purported theory of the case. The federal minimum wage is $7.25. Minnesota’s minimum wage is either $8.21 or $10.03, depending on the gross revenue of the employer. St. Paul has its own minimum wage, either $11.00 or $12.50. Everyone understands that extended subsidies for unemployment have contributed to the labor shortage.

As a Zantigo customer I was particularly struck by Biden’s remarks. They are hurting for help at $15.00 an hour. The front of the store is pictured above, the right side on the way to the drive-through below. I snapped the photos this afternoon.

They have one more sign for customers who come inside the store (below). It’s hard to miss the message.

The sign reads:

$15 Per Hour to Start
Free Food
Flexible Scheduling
Career Growth
Medical & Dental
Paid Time Off

I think this gives a somewhat more accurate glimpse of the situation that Biden’s glib remarks and in any event has the advantage of being true.

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