The New Year means higher minimum wages in South Dakota

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The New Year brings new laws including a pay raise for thousands of South Dakotans.

Voters approved a minimum wage hike in November -- going from $7.25 to $8.50 an hour. The tip wage increases from $2.13 an hour to $4.25 an hour.

Next time you go out to eat, don't be surprised if the prices on the menu are a little bit higher.

At the Roll'n Pin, new menus made their debut. What's different? The prices are three to five percent higher.

Manager Michael Hillman tells us this is in response to to the state minimum wage increase going into effect January 1.

"The margin in a restaurant is very small so we can either lower food quality and keep prices the same or we can keep food quality the same and slightly raise prices. And that's what we've done and that's what most businesses will do," said Hillman.

Most of the employees were already making above minimum wage but some did have to be raised.

Server Josey Pusl has been in the industry for more than 20 years.

"There's not very many raises in minimum wages for servers. I mean, this is the first one I've heard of for years so it is exciting news," said Pusl.

Restaurants throughout South Dakota will be having to make some decisions.

"You kind of sit down and look at it and go okay, there are employees that are going to increase, how do we make sure the expenses are all there; how do we get everything to equal out," said Hillman.

A minimal price increase was Hillman's answer.

"We'll have to go a little bit more in depth when we hire then just to make sure they cut out, just because of the expense of the new wages. I don't know whether we've formed an opinion on whether it's good or bad. Both sides have merit," said Hillman.

I'm pretty excited about this raise," said Pusl.

20 other states approved minimum wage increases which will impact about 2.4 million employees nationwide.