Phillip Salhab (pictured) told reporter Peter Stefanovic he will 'save his tears for the kisses' before finally becoming overwhelmed, admitting: 'It would be a lot easier to close'

Kyle and Jackie O give Sydney cafe owner $10,000 after he cried over minimum wage hike

Aussie pub owner who burst into tears over rising costs gets $10k ‘gifted’ by Kyle and Jackie O – but the money comes with a bizarre catch

  • Phillip Salhab said his cafe Appetite cannot survive amid mounting cost pressures
  • Mr Salhab burst into tears during an interview with Sky News last week
  • KIIS FM Organizes ‘Gifted’ Cafe $10,000 To Give Customers Free Coffee Monday
  • The radio stars said the $10,000 was for free coffee and food for customers
  • Minimum wage earners received a 5.2 percent wage increase on Wednesday

A Sydney pub owner who burst into tears during an emotional TV interview about the minimum wage hike has been awarded $10,000 from Kyle and Jackie O — but the money comes with a small catch.

Phillip Salhab, who runs eatery Appetite in Five Dock, said he feared his business could not survive during the rising cost of living and a 5.2 percent increase to the minimum wage.

He tried to put on a brave face when he talked about the possibility of going bankrupt Sky News last week.

He told reporter Peter Stefanovic that he would “save his tears for the pillow” before finally becoming overwhelmed, admitting “it would be a lot easier to close.”

The hosts of KIIS FM told the cafe owner Monday morning that they would give the store $10,000 for free coffee and food for customers who stop by all day.

Phillip Salhab (pictured) told reporter Peter Stefanovic he will ‘save his tears for the kisses’ before finally becoming overwhelmed, admitting: ‘It would be a lot easier to close’

“We’re putting $10,000 on the bar so you can call as many people as possible for free coffee and cake,” Sandilands said.

A delighted Mr Salhab was speechless after the large offer and thanked the radio hosts for their ‘amazing’ gesture.

“Oh my god, that’s crazy!” he said when it was heard that radio station staff were arriving at the cafe.

The cafe owner previously said that although he accepted the increase in the minimum wage to keep up with living pressures, his company “cannot afford it”.

“I appreciate they give us until October 1, but what guarantee is there that everything will be back to normal,” he said.

As of July 1, the country’s lowest-paid workers will receive $812.60 a week, an increase of $40, and $21.38 an hour, an increase of $1.05. However, the awards in the aviation, tourism and hospitality sectors will not start until October 1.

Salhab said he was already paying his staff well above minimum wage as the hospitality industry faces a massive staff shortage.

“Employees pit us against each other from interview to interview and tell us what they’ve offered and make sure we hopefully match or beat it, and we just can’t do it,” he said.

“We are currently looking for a kitchen helper and other opportunities offer… $42 an hour, it would be a lot easier for us to close.”

He added that rising costs for fresh food, including bread and coffee, are also making the business unprofitable and driving prices up further is no longer an option.

The hosts of KIIS FM told the cafe owner Monday morning that they would give the store $10,000 for free coffee and food for customers who stop by all day.

The hosts of KIIS FM told the cafe owner Monday morning that they would give the store $10,000 for free coffee and food for customers who stop by all day.

“There’s only so many people willing to pay for a bacon and spring roll sandwich,” he said, adding that he’s the best in Five Dock.

“I, as a consumer, cannot justify paying more than $13.50 for a bacon and spring roll sandwich.”

Just six weeks before the first lockdown in 2020, the cafe opened under appalling conditions.

Mr Salhab said if it wasn’t for diehard community support ‘we probably wouldn’t be here’.

Minimum wage increase at a glance

Up 5.2 percent from July 1

That equates to $812.60 a week – an increase of $40

The hourly rate of $21.38 marks an increase of $1.05

New minimum wage of $42,255 per year for those who work full-time – $2,080 over $40,175

The increase was above 5.1 percent inflation and was the most generous since 2006 during the mining boom

It was more than double the 2.5 percent increase last year

The decision to grant a 5.2 percent minimum wage increase will directly affect 180,000 workers

The other low-paid workers with modern awards get a 4.6 percent increase if they earn more than $869.60 per week and get $40 more per week

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