‘Small’ Sioux Falls Business owner says he can’t afford to pay more than $12 per/hr

When I hear these kind of cry baby stories I kind of roll my eyes;

While the average non-management wage was $12, “I can’t afford to pay teenagers $15 or $16 an hour – and they’re going to those jobs – unless I want to raise the price of pizzas by $2,” Porter said. “It gets to the point where it’s a whole to do for not much because it sucks all the profit out. The small guys are getting killed because we can’t afford to pay these large wages.”

Well maybe you need to charge more for your pizza and make a better pizza? Mr. Porter calls himself a small guy. That’s interesting since he owns around 6 fast casual restaurants in Sioux Falls and has a home valued at $600K. Yeah, real small potatoes.

A survey of restaurant workers done in the second quarter by Black Box Intelligence found several factors behind employees who quit their restaurant roles.

More than two-thirds of current and former restaurant workers said disrespect from customers is a factor in the labor shortage.

Nearly half said emotional abuse from managers contributed to their decision to stay or leave, with 15 percent saying they were sexually harassed by managers or co-workers, while another 15 percent said they were sexually harassed by customers.

I would agree that management in the hospitality industry in Sioux Falls is something to be desired. But that is the problem with a right to work state, business owners have full control of you as an employee instead of the other way around. This is why Noem does NOT support mandating businesses because she knows it would throw a wrench in our worthless right to work laws. This is about her protecting the ruling class NOT individual employee rights. If workers had more rights in South Dakota, ‘small’ businesses would have no problem finding workers, oh, and you really need to pay more.


#1 lcj on 09.06.21 at 3:41 pm

Sorry,but after working decades in food service and custodial services and at looking at $ in VS. $ coming out I can certainly understand this mans point if view.
You do know even if they find workers that business pays a tax just to hire another employee?

#2 l3wis on 09.06.21 at 3:46 pm

Sorry, as I person who worked in restaurants on and off for 25 years I’m not buying his crocodile tears. He has done very well for himself paying low wages and belittling his workers and teenagers and wonders why he can’t get employees?!!! The writing is on the wall McFly.

#3 Very Stable Genius on 09.06.21 at 3:53 pm

If you can’t afford a living wage for your employees then it’s not a credible business. It’s then merely a predatory business plan dependent upon a modern form of slavery which is called inherently low and intentional wages.

However, one of the things that does not seem to get much attention in this debate about wages, employees, and with or without covid, is how the emerging upper middle income class in our society has placed incredible demands upon our economy in terms of a needed and growing service economy to service the upper middle income class.

We often discuss the collapse of the American middle class, but it is being replaced by a growing upper middle income class, but the problem is that not all of us are walking from middle class to the upper middle class and as a result we have created a national economy over the last forty years which consists of the super rich, a greater upper middle income sector, and a collapsing middle class which has given way to a growing group of people who live paycheck to paycheck, or are the working poor, and then below them are those in true poverty, and these latter three groups need higher wages to survive.

A once vibrant middle class used to feed itself or create a workforce within itself to help service itself like a family with five kids where the teenagers would work at McDonalds while in high school, not expect to be paid living wages, but would show up at work, save some money then for college, and also offer themselves as a part of a viable workforce for the service industry in time and place.

But now, with an emerging upper middle class, this class of people is very service dependent, but their wealth generation makes it possible for their kids to not have to work while in school, which then means such a class of people go to McDonalds and wonder why there aren’t enough workers there to service their entire family.

The greed of the last forty years with our tax policies, are willingness to allow Wall Street to value companies on what they can do for stockholders and not what they can do to strengthen a given company for the long haul have all helped to destroy the middle class, allow an upper middle class to flourish, but then to flourish over time with no internal workers from that class to address their growing dependent service needs.

Recent federal safety net checks due to covid have only further exacerbated a growing problem that the emerging upper middle income class has been creating for sometime, and we are now seeing it both with worker shortages and companies complaining about wage costs at an alarming rate due to the covid crisis.

As an empirical example, I will cite the ludicrous growth of car wash places in this town in recent years. Why can’t people wash their own cars? Why do so many need to have someone else wash their cars? The growth of this industry is exhibit A of the growth of the upper middle income sector in our society today who are extremely dependent upon others to get the job done and are willing to pay lubricous prices to get their cars washed as well.

I remember a joke as a kid, where it was claimed that America was a very rich country and the difference between a rich American and poor American was that a rich American has someone else wash their Cadillac, while a poor American washes their own Cadillac. Well, today increasingly many, who are a part of the emerging upper middle class, expect someone else to wash their car even if it is not a Cadillac.

Now, this growth of car wash places may or may not be very labor intensive. I wouldn’t know, because I find it ludicrous to spend 20 to 30 dollars to wash a car, but it does demonstrate how lazy the upper middle class have become and this laziness feeds a dependency upon a service industry which is now beginning to implode because the ones most dependent upon the system – the upper middle income class – are not fully supporting it beyond just being customers, and are not supporting it with an army of their own service workers found within their own class.

So, the real problem is is that the growing upper middle income sector are takers, but not givers, when it comes to helping to service the service industry that they are increasingly so dependent upon.

#4 LCJ on 09.06.21 at 4:29 pm

Please tell us how he belittled his employees?
How do you rate the service of a business?
I remember not long ago you short tipped a server because her boss decided to charge you for a Mayonnaise packet. She probably doesn’t have a thing bro do about the final price but you decided you to attack the low hanging fruit.
Thanks for standing up for the working people on Labor Day

#5 LCJ on 09.06.21 at 5:59 pm

Why do you exclude comments and how do you decide who can have free speech even if our comments are undeniable truth?

#6 l3wis on 09.06.21 at 8:45 pm

SouthDacola is MY blog, not a government entity, I can delete or edit any comment I choose to. If you don’t like that, don’t comment here. Secondly I did tip the person, even though they probably didn’t deserve it, I was chastizing their employer not the server.


#7 The Guy From Guernsey on 09.06.21 at 10:40 pm

A tale of two hospitality business owners –
One who gets it. Acknowledges ‘change’ and is engaged in actively discovering ways in which he can retain a critical resource for his business – the resource of people. A leader.
Another, despite that he has assembled a substantial and diverse empire – doesn’t have a clue. $12 an hour!?!?

#8 The Guy From Guernsey on 09.07.21 at 7:49 am

As a franchise system, there have been difficult waters for PizzaRev, even before the pandemic. Once a system of nearly 50 locations, it has diminished to 13 (according to a link below to a June 2020 article; 11 according to a current list on the PizzaRev website).
There is some reason for this phenomenon.


#9 LJL on 09.07.21 at 9:35 am

What is sad is the greed that people have and don’t realize it. If you look at the pay of the business owner it’s going to be steady if not climbing. Rather than take less to pay more, he’s willing to close the store.

It’s the banking industry who has propped up over leveraged business models that have lead us down this road. I’m all for free business and profits, but too many have lost their soles to pay kids less so you can have a McMansion and 100K vehicles.

#10 Car wash? on 09.07.21 at 10:45 am

VSG…we go to those car washes because it is CHEAP. Not $20 or $30 per wash…$20-$30 for a whole MONTH of washes, taken directly out of our checking. It’s called a BUSINESS model, something you clowns know nothing about. Carry on with your echo chamber…

#11 Very Stable Genius on 09.07.21 at 12:24 pm

Car wash,

Have I struck a Taupeville nerve? Most likely. Your monthly memberships are limited to a single vehicle. Why can’t it be used for all of your vehicles?

Don’t these memberships promote long lines, which encourages discouragement to get your car washed? Yet, the membership keeps getting taken out of your account each month. That’s the true business model here.

Plus, if it is “cheap”, it only further feeds into my dependency theory concerning the upper middle income, where their frequency of service economy dependency is only further encouraged with the absence of enough workers found within their class to service the service economy.

A course, now, you will probably talk about automation and car washes, but it’s all relative.

Oh, I know about business models. One of the most famous ones in South Dakota is: “Let’s see just how low we can go with wages” #wagecollusion

( and Woodstock adds: “VSG, I love with when you get the Taupevillers going”… “It’s more entertaining then when you get the gun nuts going”… )

#12 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 09.07.21 at 2:45 pm

So let me get this right. I can wash my car as many times as I want in a month for 20 or 30 dollars? Really? What if everyone else wants to do that, too? Won’t it create big long car lines? Will my car ever get washed? This sounds like the biggest pyramid/Ponzi scheme I have ever heard of. But it is a good business model for the profiteers, however….. Imagine if Wimpy could get a deal like that one at McDonald’s….

#13 "Woodstock" on 09.07.21 at 2:53 pm

“You know, only in South Dakota would a governor want to shoot off fireworks in a forest, while most of our woodlands are burning up”… “And only in South Dakota would a local government hand out TIFs to developers who don’t need them”…. “And only, also, would it happen in South Dakota that in the middle of a severe drought part of a South Dakotas community development plan would be to encourage car washing and the proliferation of a bunch of new state of the art car wash places to be built”…. (“Okay Chomly, we are in the middle of a drought with climate change, so let’s build more car wash places”…. )

#14 All washed-up on 09.07.21 at 4:18 pm

I just got back from Vegas and on the outside of a local strip club there they were advertising limitless lap dances for $300 a month, but you should have seen the line outside. #poorgirl #limitlessmale

#15 D@ily Spin on 09.07.21 at 5:02 pm

Taco Bell pays $14 to start. It’s still not a living wage. The dollar is loosing value. If you need employees start them at a decent wage and give them a raise every 6 months. Otherwise, they’ll take better offers. A resume full of fast food jobs is actually beneficial. It proves you’re smart enough to know you’re worth more.

#16 D@ily Spin on 09.07.21 at 5:10 pm

Not a good year for Governor fireworks. We lost in the Middle East. What’s to celebrate. Fires have burned much of California. Don’t start more here. Firefighters are worn out. We’d have to let it burn. This is not a good time for Trump groupies showtime.

#17 LCJ on 09.07.21 at 6:13 pm

Thank you for finally admitting you are not a real journalist and write only about how things should be in your fairy tale world and not things that matters to all people

#18 Anthony Renli on 09.09.21 at 9:50 am

Ok….I’m still working on his math.
Let’s hit the numbers.
Currently working on his numbers he’s able to make a profit paying people $12/hr but he’d have to bump up his prices by $2/pizza to give his people a $3-4 pay bump.
So…what he’s saying is he’s selling around 2 pizzas per staffed employee per hour? Because that’s the back of the envelope calculation…Yes I know it’s more complicated than than this (with FICA/SS/Etc.) but still…
How the hell is he staying in business at all?
How is he paying rent and electricity?
How is he buying food?
How is he making his franchise payments?

I know margins are tight in the food business and I know that Pizza Rev as a chain has been circling the drain for the last year. It’s a damned tough business to be in. But if this business was in good shape, he’d figure out how much the increased labor costs would actually add to the pizzas (realistically probably 0.50/pizza or less) raise the prices, and stay open.
But he’s not doing this.
This is just his way to bitch publicly about labor costs while closing down a shop that was going to close within a little while anyway.

#19 l3wis on 09.09.21 at 11:02 am

Funny? Right? Coming from the guy selling fake chicken, fake Mexican and Fake Italian food😯

#20 Slim Chickens on Mn Ave on 09.11.21 at 9:03 pm

Todd Porter’s Slim Chickens location on Minnesota Avenue has really gone DOWN HILL!

I complained on their website and asked for a response.