Group of restaurant workers push for wage increase with 'yes' on Initiative 77

Better wages, better tips, DC workers are pushing forward this message in a grassroots effort to encourage residents and workers across the district to vote "Yes" on initiative 77 in the upcoming primary election.

The ballot measure would gradually increase minimum wage for servers and bartenders to $15 an hour by 2020.

Supporters hosted a dine-in at Florida Avenue Grill in Northwest on Sunday morning.

The Grill's owner is one of few business owners across the District who support the measure.

"We've seen that one fair wage works, it's working in California. Restaurants are blooming," said Gregory Cendana.

Critics say if this is passed, customers would bear the burden by paying a service charge so businesses can afford to pay a higher minimum wage.

Meanwhile, more than 100 of the most popular DC restaurants and bars have signed a petition against Initiative 77.

They say their workers already make well over the DC minimum wage with tips in some cases, more than $20 bucks an hour.

Businesses point out that DC law already requires them to pay the difference if an employee does not make enough tips to meet minimum wage.

Initiative 77 will appear on the June 19 primary ballot. Similar measures have already passed in seven states.