When customers headed to their favorite Italian eatery in Minneapolis, they noticed the restaurant had added a 15-percent charge to their order. The owners experienced a backlash due to the “racist” fee.
When managing editor of FEE.org Jon Miltimore and his wife tried to make a reservation at Broders’ Pasta Bar, the couple noticed a charge that wasn’t previously there. Incredibly, the restaurant openly admitted that a 15-percent fee would be added to every order because they believe their customers are both racist and sexist.
As the “woke” virus infects every political institution, major corporation, and public school, it’s only logical that it will soon invade our eating establishments. Of course, the only reason it hasn’t yet taken hold of privately-owned restaurants is that it typically results in financial suicide. However, the Minnesota eatery is desperately attempting to resolve this problem in a bizarre way.
According to their website, the restaurant owners have assumed that since “Caucasian” male servers typically earn more in tips than their female or non-white counterparts, the only explanation is that the customers are bigots. As such, Broders’ will add a surcharge of 15 percent to each order in an effort to level the playing field “in the wake of racial injustice.”
“Studies have also shown that there is inequity and built-in bias in the way consumers give tips,” the website reads. “In general, Black or Brown servers receive less tips than Caucasian servers. There is gender bias as well. In restaurants, immigrants and people of color work mostly in the kitchens and have no access to gratuities to supplement their hourly wage.”
Further into the description, the owners, who profit from multiple restaurants, insist that their underprivileged employees deserve a “real living wage.” Of course, they don’t want to dip into their own slice of the pie to “provide fair pay across the company.” Instead, they want their racist, sexist customers to foot the bill.
“Our Benefits & Equity Charge is applied entirely to employee compensation. This supplement helps us to set a $16 minimum hourly wage for customer [sic] facing employees, $18 minimum hourly wage for kitchen employees,” the website states. “Altogether this allows everyone in our company to earn a real living wage. The 15% Benefits & Equity Charge is not a gratuity.”
While the owners of Broders’ Pasta Bar tout themselves for fighting for its employees, their pretense is purposefully misleading. They use the fact that “many states have allowed reduced minimum wages for service staff in the form of a tip credit” to justify the surcharge. However, this isn’t the case in Minnesota. In fact, the law requires businesses with gross revenue over $500,000 to pay employees and tipped workers a minimum of $10.08, which is nearly 5 times the federal minimum wage.
The company concludes that, since they are charging an extra 15 percent, they will not require gratuities. Sadly, this policy will likely do more harm than good for decent servers.
Most hard workers in the serving business will agree that tipping is their preferred source of income. It gives them the option to make more money than they would at a fixed income by performing to a higher standard in order to receive a higher tip. However, this method also helps the business. With the waitstaff giving peak service, customers are more likely to return and patronize the business.
On the other hand, reducing the chance of tips by implementing a surcharge also removes the incentive to do anything but the bare minimum. If zealous servers are just going to receive the same paycheck as their lazy coworkers, why labor in vain?
If Broders’ Pasta Bar wanted all its employees to earn a “real living wage,” all they had to do was give them each a raise. There’s no law against doing so. Instead, they didn’t want to dip into their own pockets, so they placed the burden on the customers who are already supporting their business.
The company’s biggest mistake was accusing its patrons of racism and sexism and punishing them for it by adding a surcharge. Hopefully, the owners didn’t just further reduce their employees’ earnings by implementing such a foolish business policy.