Promoting, educating and advocating for Delaware’s restaurant industry since 1965.

Minimum Wage Increase

Minimum wage is the lowest hourly amount an employer can pay an employee, with some exceptions based on the type of worker.

Delaware Minimum Wage = $8.25 per hour

Delaware Cash Wage for Tipped Employees = $2.23 per hour


Delaware Restaurant Facts

  • Restaurants are the largest small-business employer in the state.
  • Restaurant profits average three cents on the dollar.
  • Restaurants employ over 47,000 people in Delaware.
  • 94% of restaurant employees said that restaurant jobs were a good place to get a first job and learn valuable basic working skills.
  • 57% of first-line supervisors/managers of food preparation and service workers in 2009 were of Hispanic origin and 15% were African-American.
  • 88% of restaurant workers said restaurants provide the opportunity to start at the bottom and move up to management. Nearly half of all adults have worked at some point during their lives in a restaurant, and one out of four adults got their first job experience in a restaurant.
  • Delaware Restaurants’ economic impact is $3.8  billion in sales.
  • Every $1 million in sales generated in restaurants creates 34 additional jobs’ not minimum wage increases!

Understand the Facts about Minimum Wage

  • The youth (16-19 year-old) employment rate in Delaware is 25.5 percent. The unemployment rate is 23 percent. (Date via the BLS) (Note that the employment rate is calculated as employed teens divided by the teen population.)
  • A progressive wage hike will slam the door shut for employment opportunities for low-skilled adults and teenagers.
  • For every 10 percent increase in the minimum wage, teen employment at small businesses is estimated to decrease by 4.6 to 9.0 percent (EPI Institute).
  • For every 10 percent increase in the minimum wage, estimates show employment may fall as much as 6.6 percent for young black and Hispanic teens ages 16 to 19 (EPI Institute).
  • According to recent U.S. Census data, only 16.5 percent of minimum wage recipients are raising a family on the minimum wage. The remaining 83.5 percent are teenagers living with working parents, adults living alone, or dual-earner married couples.
  • According to recent U.S. Census data, the average annual salary of a family with a minimum wage worker was $43,000.
  • Raising the minimum wage is an ineffective tool to fight poverty. Programs like the Earned Income Tax Credit are far better at helping low-income Americans.

For More Information

The DRA, in partnership with other statewide groups and associations, built a strong coalition in 2015 to distribute information about the consequences of an increased minimum wage.  For further reading and information about wages, employment and opportunity for starting workers in Delaware, please visit