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Punch Pizza raises minimum wage again – workers will get $11 per hour

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Not content with featuring in President Obama's State of the Union speech after voluntarily raising its minimum wage to $10, Minnesota's Punch Neapolitan Pizza has gone and done it again.

The Twin Cities pizza chain confirmed on its Facebook page that it will be raising its minimum wage again, with workers earning at least $11-an-hour.

New hires will get that amount as a starting wage, while all of its existing employees will get an extra $1-an-hour.

In a statement given to WCCO, Punch revealed the new base wage will be introduced on Monday.

"Punch’s growth in sales per store has been in the very top in the industry over the last 2 years — our customers clearly prefer to do business with companies like Punch that value their employees," co-owner John Puckett said in a statement given to the TV station.

Punch's decision in 2013 to voluntarily raise its base pay to $10 came amid a growing national movement for companies to pay workers, particularly those in the service industry, a living wage that keeps them out of poverty.

This move was praised by President Obama in his 2014 State of the Union speech as he called for the raising of the federal minimum wage (currently $7.25 an hour).

Speaking to the Pioneer Press, Puckett said that profits are secondary compared to their desire to have a top-quality workforce.

"I'm more worried about us not being able to get the best people than I am about profitability," he told the newspaper. "We're thinking much more long term."

Punch will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year, and will open its 10th Twin Cities location next fall in Eagan, the Pioneer Press notes. It plans to open a further 15 more in the metro area in the next two decades.

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