It's been a rough past 16 months for the restaurant industry as we try and work our ways out of the pandemic. Businesses are trying to hire more workers as many have been short-staffed the last few weeks and even months.

Starting tomorrow (July 1st), the minimum wage for the fast-food industry in New York State will increase to $15 per hour. It's that way in New York City as of 2018, but the rest of New York will now be at $15 per hour.

One local pizzeria is deciding to do something to stand out from competitors.

According to WKBW, Picasso's Pizza has new signs up that say pay starts at "$15.01."

Co-owner Marc Digiori says the sign has made a huge difference in getting noticed and standing out from other restaurants.

The new minimum wage for fast-food workers will likely help out many who are struggling to make ends meet, although restaurants will have to take the new wages into account. One potential way is to slightly increase menu items.

One of my first jobs was at a fast food place and I can honestly say it's one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life. It's not really a job you can explain to someone until they've done it.

That job taught me a lot and gave me a new appreciation for the service industry. I get both sides -- workers who want to be paid more fairly, while the restaurant owners need to take into consideration wages, prices, and ways to keep their bottom line above water; especially after enduring the worst of the pandemic.

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