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‘Fair Wage’ Pizza Shop Gets Slice of Reality. It Closes.

By  Hank Berrien

A Boston-area pizza shop got a rude slice of reality when it attempted to operate by raising the wages of its workers far above the normal working rate: it closed down.

In 2015, the nonprofit organization Haley House, in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, decided they would open Dudley Dough, which would function according to the non-profit’s ideas of economic justice and fair wages.

But now, Bing Broderick, executive director for the Haley House, admits the shop just couldn’t make it in the capitalist world; the shop is losing money and posing a danger financially to its parent organization.

As The Boston Globe reports, Luther Pinckney, a team leader at Dudley Dough, protested, “I don’t think anyone is looking at it as a failure. It’s an experiment, and some very good things came out of that, such as skill-building for staff and being in this building at this time of gentrification and change in this community.”

Even with the $100,000 that Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, donated to Haley House, specifically for Dudley Dough, Dudley Dough sank. The Globe notes, “Three other restaurants opened in the area around the same time as Dudley Dough and are still operating.”

The website for Haley House boasted, “Dudley Dough seeks to challenge this status quo by pioneering a new model of worker empowerment in the restaurant industry, offering living wages and profit-sharing opportunities to help our workers overcome the economic disadvantages that are an unfortunate part of the current reality.”

In its promotional video, Dudley Dough states, “The idea that we have, to take whatever profit we are able to generate and share it with the workers …”

It turns out that if you can’t compete, there isn’t much profit to go around.

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