Recently, down in Tennessee, I tried to find out. Sitting at the bar at Little Octopus, a hip East Nashville restaurant, I awkwardly intruded on the conversation the three women in their late 20s were having next to me.
“Excuse me, ladies,” I said, as they looked up, seemingly bracing for a cheesy pick-up line. But instead of telling them that I want to live in their socks so I can be with them every step of the way, I asked if they’d consider a hypothetical question: Would you support a 20% increase in food prices if it meant paying the cooks and dishwashers in the back a fair, living wage?
At first they all quietly stared at me and one another, as if trying to figure out why a union organizer would be eating ceviche next to them, until I explained a little more about why I was curious. One of the women, Kristin, spoke up. “I’m all for paying fair wages, but if prices across the board go up 20%... ” she trailed off for a second. “I’d still want to go to these places, but I don’t think I’d go as often.”