So that we can pay all of our employees a living wage, an 18% service charge is added to all food and beverage purchases.
What’s the deal with this 18% service charge?
Restaurants typically pay their waitstaff a very low hourly rate with the expectation that their pay will be supplemented by tips. In an effort to help change that culture, we are paying all of our employees a fair wage instead of having them rely solely on the generosity of customers. We do this by adding an 18% service charge to our food and beverage items. This charge takes the place of a tip and that money goes directly to our employees in the form of fair wages. Think of it as a transition from tipping culture.
Why not just call it a tip or add it to the cost of the food?
Tips are discretionary payments that employees receive from a customer. In general, the following factors characterize a tip: (1) the payment must be made free from compulsion; (2) the customer must have the unrestricted right to determine the amount; (3) the payment should not be the subject of negotiation or dictated by employer policy; and (4) the customer should generally have the right to determine who receives the payment.
Since the 18% charge does not line up with those characteristics, it is not a tip.
We have decided not to just add it to the cost of the food because we are interested in seeing a cultural change that moves away from service industry employees being seen as tipped employees and instead offering fair wages by their employer.
But what if they deserve more?
Then by all means, you are more than welcome to offer a cash tip to your server. We have a tip bucket next to the register where you can place any gratuity you would like for your server and that goes directly to them.
Unfortunately, due to the rising prices of, well, just about everything we have had to raise our menu prices. We hope this is a temporary adjustment and the market will return back to "normal" soon.
We thank you for your understanding.