Punch Pizza minimum wage raised again to $11

- Punch Pizza is giving its base workers another pay raise. Starting Monday, the lowest paid workers at Punch will make an extra $1 per hour, raising the Twin Cities pizza chain’s minimum wage to $11 per hour.

“Excited to announce our $11 starting wage for all new hires and an additional $1 raise for all our existing employees,” Punch posted on Facebook.

Punch Pizza received a presidential shout-out at last year’s State of the Union address for voluntarily raising its minimum wage to $10 per hour.

“Nick Chute is here tonight with his boss John Soranno,” President Obama said. “John's an owner at Punch Pizza in Minneapolis, and Nick helps make the dough. Only he makes more of it.”

At that time, Punch Pizza estimated the wage hike would cost $3 million over the next 10 years, but they said the extra expense would generate more revenue in the long-run through better quality and better service. Co-owner John Puckett echoed that philosophy this week in comments to the Pioneer Press, which first reported the wage increase.

"I'm more worried about us not being able to get the best people than I am about profitability," Puckett said.

Minnesota's minimum wage was increased to $9 on Aug. 1, 2015 and will rise to $9.50 on Aug. 1, 2016.

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