Subway owners said Seattle $15 law would make businesses "cease to exist" in Seattle and raise prices $1/sub... now opening restaurants, advertising high wages, and only raising prices 4%

 Photo via @cruickshank

Photo via @cruickshank

Owners of Subway stores have spoken out repeatedly against Seattle’s $15 minimum wage law, making all kinds of predictions about business closures and cost increases. Subway owner David Jones has been an especially prominent spokesperson for the International Franchise Association, and the Subway owners association is even supporting the lawsuit to overturn Seattle's $15 law.

What they said

  • 5/29/2014, Subway owner David Jones: “David Jones, who owns a Subway franchise, said a footlong sub may go up by more than a dollar.
  • 6/3/2014, Subway owner Matthew Hollek: “I don’t know how I’m going to do it in Seattle. It’s just making it a really unlikely place for me to expand. It’s going to be very difficult.”
  • 6/12/2014, North American Association of Subway Franchisees and other chains: “This ordinance means that franchisees cannot compete in the Seattle marketplace and many franchise small businesses will cease to exist.”
  • 6/21/2014: Subway owner Matthew Hollek: The $15 minimum wage law “will also ensure that franchise brand expansion in the Seattle area will be limited in the future, as chains will look to more attractive markets for expansion, and prospective franchise owners will look for more profitable business opportunities elsewhere.”
  • 3/27/2015: Subway owner Heidi Mann: "We've experienced a lot of customers telling us they will drive up the 20-30 blocks to the next Subway if we raise our prices…It's just going to be a tragedy.”

What happened

Since the minimum wage law took effect, a new Subway has already opened in the Greenwood neighborhood. Subway owners are discussing at most a 4% price hike. And plenty of other Subways in the city are hiring, with Craigslist postings just this month for Subways in Northgate, Eastlake, Fremont/Ballard.

In fact, David Jones — an outspoken supporter of in the franchise lawsuit — posted this on craigslist in early May:

You didn’t miss it — his posting does not mention his strident dead-end opposition to the very advertised wage he’s using as a hiring proposition.