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Quinnipiac University poll: NYC voters back fast food wage hike

Fast food workers converge in downtown Manhattan on

Fast food workers converge in downtown Manhattan on July 22, 2015, ahead of New York State wage board's public meeting to call for a $15 industry-wide minimum wage. Photo Credit: Yeong-Ung Yang

New York City voters aren't keen when it comes to eliminating the tradition of tipping servers and support increasing the minimum wage for fast-food workers.

So says the latest Quinnipiac University poll released Monday.

Eliminating restaurant tipping and charging higher menu prices to compensate employees is a "bad idea," voters said. Overall, it's 55 percent against eliminating tipping and raising menu prices to 36 percent for.

Overall, no party, gender, borough or age group supports the idea, the poll said. The lowest opposition is from Manhattan voters; 48 percent say no to eliminating tipping to 41 percent for.

Also Manhattan voters are unwilling to pay more for a meal and tip less by 49 percent to 45 percent.

New York City voters favor raising the minimum wage for fast food workers to $15 per hour over the next three years, 70 percent to 27 percent.

Every group supports the increase except Republicans; that voting base is opposed 60 percent to 39 percent, the poll said.

A $15 minimum wage will not result in restaurant closings and loss of jobs, voters say 56 percent to 36 percent. And voters say 57 percent to 33 percent they would be willing to pay more for fast food so workers could get higher wages.

Again, only one group -- Republicans -- is unwilling to pay more for the burger, chicken and fries, 55 percent to 35 percent.

"Here's a tip for restaurateurs: Keep the tip. Most New Yorkers like this dining tradition just the way it is," said Quinnipiac University Poll Assistant director Maurice Carroll.

"What would the poll show if we just surveyed the people who work for tips?

"While they don't want to give up tipping and pay more for waiter/waitress service, New Yorkers are willing to pay more for fast food to help those workers earn more."

The matter of televisions in the back of cabs is divided by boroughs, the poll said.

Overall, New York City voters say 45 percent to 40 percent to keep the TVs in the back of taxi cabs. But Manhattan voters say the TVs should be removed, 49 percent to 36 percent.

In the so-called "outer boroughs," support for taxi TVs ranges from 42 percent to 41 percent in Brooklyn to 53 percent to 32 percent in Queens.

Supporters, especially those in the 18 to 34 age group, say they are a "pleasant diversion."

In the matter of using Uber, just 21 percent of those polled have used the app-driven car service. But it does have a favorable rating, 43 percent to 16 percent.

The poll was conducted Oct. 22-28 when Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,155 New York City voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points.

For each question, there were a number of those surveyed who said they did not know or that the issue did not apply to them.

More information on the poll is at


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