On the positive side of the ledger, one can point to the first increase in the median real wage for US workers in quite some time. But, there’s also a flip side to that coin, and it is taking a toll on restaurants in major cities such as New York City and San Francisco. The New York Post reported this week that a number of restaurants in the Big Apple have confessed to laying off a number of their employees as well as cutting staff hours, and even cutting operating hours in order to cover the increase labor costs associated with the $15/hour mandate and additional employee benefit mandates. Similarly, in the City by the Bay, a number of restauranteurs have reported closing some of their facilities, adding robots to keep labor costs down and having customers bus their own tables. Some have even incorporated a mandatory service charge to help defray some of the ever-increasing labor costs and mandates. Is this improvement?