When the federal government froze minimum wage for tipped workers at $2.13 per hour in 1996, the wage amounted to half the federal minimum wage for non-tipped workers. Tips were supposed to make up the difference and, if they didn’t, the law required companies to do so. Since then, that $2.13 per hour has fallen to 29% of the minimum wage.
A bill proposed this session would unfreeze the tipped minimum, a move called for by President Barack Obama. Supporters say the change is necessary to give restaurant workers a wage they can count on and may actually save restaurants money in the long run because it will reduce turnover and keep highly productive workers on staff. Detractors say the measure will push down job creation, put workers out of a job and drive up meal prices for consumers.
The provision is part of a larger bill to raise the overall minimum wage to $10.10 in two years and provide for annual increases thereafter. (read more…)
The state of a restaurant’s floor upon entrance is what more than 40% of patrons use to judge the overall cleanliness of the establishment. The cleanliness of restrooms is usually mentioned next, including whether toilet paper, soap and paper towels have been replenished.
Both of these issues can be relatively easy to address. Naturally, most of the dirt in an entryway is carried in on customers’ shoes. Some of this debris can be removed by industry mats or carpet specially designed to act in the same way as a bristle-brush boot scraper at a domestic doorway. A sturdy but discrete carpet sweeper can be stored within the host’s lectern for quick, discrete cleanups once customers are seated. If the restaurant entry opens directly to the outdoors, the outer mat should be exchanged daily for a clean one under an agreement with an industrial-carpet service.
Cleaning the restroom before each shift’s opening and after the establishment’s closing is standard and expected. (read more…)
In years past, restaurateurs might mumble under their breath when patrons blew off their reservations or showed up and hogged the table for too long or spoke rudely to the waitstaff. They might send sidelong glances or even, in extreme cases, deal with the rude guest face to face.
But now it’s a digital age and patrons and restaurant owners alike have Twitter and other digital channels to rely on when they feel the need to vent, although the jury’s still out on the advisability of restaurateurs calling out guests for behaving badly. A few weeks ago, the media was abuzz with the story of frustrated restaurant owner of Red Medicine in Los Angeles, who called out patrons by name on Twitter after several failed to show for their Saturday night reservations.
The reactions were mixed, with most in the industry empathizing with the frustration that led to the outburst while opinions varied in terms of whether the public shaming was appropriate. (read more…)