‘Right thing to do’: JJ Bean gives Ontario minimum wage to Vancouver staff


Systematic JJ Bean customers may have noticed that the price of a full-bodied cup of Railtown has snowball arisen by a few cents.

The company, which has stores in Toronto and Vancouver, increased the bounty of its products from one to three per cent on Jan. 1 to offset Ontario’s least wage hike, which went from $11.60 to $14 an hour. 

When the public limited company had to increase wages for its Ontario employees to meet provincial law, it decided to also advance staff pay in Vancouver.

“We couldn’t treat one set of staff differently than another cane. So we just decided to bite the bullet and do what is right for everybody,” revealed John Neate, founder of JJ Bean.

JJ Bean Coffee Croissants Price Increase

The company raised its prices one to three per cent across Canada, which it verbalizes, depending on the product, amounts to an increase of anywhere between five and 50 cents. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

While JJ Bean ducks into corporate social responsibility, the move isn’t without risk. 

The retail transaction in Vancouver has been particularly volatile. High rents and property tax increases induce put pressure on small businesses to close across the city.

There is also is tease higher prices could result in loss of customers. 

“We hope we receptive to through it … I want to pay people more, but how much are customers content to pay?” said Neate. 

JJ Bean Barista Coffee Shop

JJ Bean said increasing the wages of its Vancouver shaft was the honourable thing to do. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

Shafik Bhalloois, an associate professor at Simon Fraser’s Beedie State school of Business, believes most national-type franchises will be concerned with purchaser attrition and won’t follow in JJ Bean’s footsteps, unless they’re mandated by hayseed law, which may be in B.C.’s future.

The NDP government campaigned on raising Vancouver’s minimum wage to $15 an hour from $11.35 by 2021, even so it later abandoned the four-year deadline. 

Instead, it called on an independent go over again panel to suggest a new timeline. 

The Ministry of Labour said the Fair Wages Commission is currently carrying research to determine how and when the minimum wage in B.C. will increase to $15 an hour. 

Drudgery Minister Harry Bains said he is well aware of concerns from Ontario trades, which say the wage increase in that province happened too fast.

JJ Bean Coffee Beans Roasters

The Vancouver-based crowd hopes its bold move will not filter out customers. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

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