Blue Plate responds to minimum wage increase by dipping into servers' tips

Categories: Food

323251796_29362b9f22_o.jpg
livewombat
:::: UPDATE :::: Blue Plate backtracks, will no longer dip into servers' tips

On August 1, Blue Plate Restaurant Company notified employees at each of its eight locations (including the Freehouse, the Lowry, and Longfellow Grill) that as per Minnesota's incremental minimum wage increase, wages would indeed be raised by $0.75 per hour.

The good news didn't last. After telling employees that they "want [the raise] to be visible in the warm welcome and bright smile you bring to our guests," Blue Plate explained that due to increased expenses resulting from the raise, the company will take 2 percent of all tips paid with a credit card in addition to taxes servers already pay, reports the Star Tribune.

See also: River Oasis Cafe getting killed for "Min Wage Fee" on Yelp

Blue Plate will take a $1.25 million blow as a result of the increase coupled with rising health care expenses, but with eight bustling Twin Cities restaurants, it's likely that the minimum wage increase barely makes a dent.

Charging servers a percentage of their tips is nothing new for Parasole Restaurant Holdings (owners of Burger Jones, Chino Latino, Manny's Steakhouse, and more), who have engaged in the practice since September 2011. Last week, City Pages wrote about Stillwater's River Oasis Restaurant after they started charging customers a minimum wage fee of $0.35 on each bill. Customers have since retaliated by bombarding Oasis' Yelp page with negative feedback.

In the past few days, local restaurant owners and foodies alike voiced their disdain on Twitter for Blue Plate's new practice. We've gathered some of the highlights:

Tim Niver, owner of the Strip Club, was particularly riled up by Blue Plate's decision.

tweet2.jpg

Niver joked back and forth with Birchwood Cafe about Blue Plate's "private jet."

niverbirch.jpg

Chef Andrew Zimmern was as heated as Niver.

tweet4.jpg

Meanwhile, WCCO's Jason DeRusha took a more neutral approach.

tweet5.jpg

What do you think? Do you agree with Blue Plate's solution, or are you more inclined to side with Niver and Zimmern?




Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
344 comments
vincent.comma.john
vincent.comma.john

Blue Plate?  Wow.  They have four restaurants near me -- all of which I USED to eat at.

Gregory Wayd
Gregory Wayd

parasole Corp, splits it 50/50 , when this started I started leaving cash tips...

Chris Benny
Chris Benny

Sorry Scott Dentz I use them all the time. Only idiots post comments like that.

Lewd Ferrigno
Lewd Ferrigno

Well i used to eat at the Lowry and the Longfellow Grill quite a bit but thats over

Greg Hernandez
Greg Hernandez

Didn't this happen before with these guys? Blue Plate's servers are top notch. Most costumers know this and support by tipping well. Don't be dicks, BP because a boycott would obviously be counterproductive.

countlasica1
countlasica1

Either one of two things were going to happen with min wage increase, the food costs more to consumer or the following article.  Do you want to pay more at a restaurant? Low info people never realize that the margins on restaurants are slim.  The owner takes a tremendous risk with their financial situation by opening a restaurant or any business and they should be compensated appropriately. 


When min wage is increased the natural result is higher prices and situations like the this article.  It is basic economics.  This is America, if you don't like your job get another or get more training.  There are tons of programs to help.

Ab Solutely
Ab Solutely

I would venture to say that most restaurants are now charging servers this cc tip fee. My job is. So just tip in cash people!!! Pass it on!

rockingjamboree1
rockingjamboree1

It sounds like Wage Theft to me. It doesn't sound legal. Is it?


Scott Dentz
Scott Dentz

Anyone who uses a credit card is an idiot!!!

Pinko Thinker
Pinko Thinker

just tip in cash, but submit a written review card expressing the nature of your discontent with the adoption of such an unscrupulous policy. every. single. time.

Marc Churchill
Marc Churchill

That's a very misleading headline, City Pages. I would've expected better from you… Go ahead and drink the Kool-Aid everybody!

TREE
TREE

I have worked in the restaurant industry for 20 years MANY MANY restaurants charge their servers the cc fee, not uncommon.  I would recommend ASKING your server and then deciding how to pay and maybe a mention to the manager as well.. 

The server gets charged 2% on the TOTAL OF THEIR CREDIT CARD TRANSACTIONS NOT JUST TIPS.  The TOTAL amount of your meal, NOT just your tip.  So if you leave a 18% tip your server only gets 16%


Randy Wendel
Randy Wendel

I only leave cash tips for the servers...I never put a tip on the card.

Wagons West
Wagons West

I don't think they can Legally take employees tips, since they are taxed on them... Someone should look into that or call the I.R.S. On any employer who takes their tips

Devon Majerus
Devon Majerus

YES! If you're going to be all "transparent" about things, go all the way.

Devon Majerus
Devon Majerus

I agree about inflation Brian, as I assume a lot of people do. But until that's fixed, the minimum wage issue has to be addressed just so people can make ends meet.

Nikia Hensel
Nikia Hensel

Boycotting the restaurants is only hurting the people surviving on the tips.The best thing to do is tip in cash and support the waitstaff.

Brian Defferding
Brian Defferding

Minimum wage policies are written and implemented by politicians who have no idea how economics work. What Blue Plate is doing is the exact same thing other businesses are doing, Blue Plate is just being more transparent about it. Other businesses also cut corners too, and they raise prices on their food when they are faced with the higher cost of labor. They pass this increased expense on either you and me, the patron, and/or their employees. The problem isn't wages, the problem is inflation and the devaluation of our currency. Until we start attacking that problem, we won't see actual improvement. This is why we always have to revisit minimum wage policies every 10-20 years - it's our currency, not wages. This ultimately ties into the Federal Reserve.

Raymond Schmitz
Raymond Schmitz

If the answer man wanted a project how does the card processing fee get covered for the tax portion? There is a tax fee that the merchant retains but does it cover the card fee? How about the tip, figure on total or pre tax? You have my opinion for the week question, I suggest killing tips entirely, but that will not happen.

Caitlin Blumer
Caitlin Blumer

yeah, boycotting a restaurant because you're upset servers are losing about ~$3 a shift makes total sense. because now they're also losing every dollar you & your friends would bring them as patrons.

Lora Didriksen Lallak
Lora Didriksen Lallak

I really like the Blue Plate restaurants but won't support them with this practice.

Jay Furst
Jay Furst

Good question, Travis, and I was asking about the Powers matter recently...we need to update.

Jason Farruggia
Jason Farruggia

I'm really hoping the intelligent people just haven't commented yet. Otherwise this world is in Big trouble. If any of you would like me to explain how all this works one on one feel free to call me. My # is listed in my profile.

Jason Farruggia
Jason Farruggia

You people do realize the company has to pay the credit card company a fee for that tip right? So how is it wrong for the employee to have to pay the processing fee on the tip that goes directly to them? I swear you are all idiots!

Chuck Jones
Chuck Jones

If you don't have a business model that supports a living wage, then you don't have a business.

Ballpark Frank
Ballpark Frank

The food isn't that great anyways. I have no problem going somewhere else that doesn't fuck their already-minimum wage employees over

Tara Fitzgerald
Tara Fitzgerald

The original pancake house in eden prairie and edina also makes servers pay for credit card tips and has for years. Smh

Joel O'Brien
Joel O'Brien

Cookie Kilian the businesses should have planned better. A wage increase didn't kill anyone. Obama and Dayton, while far from perfect and responsible for many other deaths, didn't kill anyone with obamacare or wage increases. Lol

Joel O'Brien
Joel O'Brien

Why would you eat at a corporate pig establishment in a city with excellent food choices?

Cookie Kilian
Cookie Kilian

Add up the cost of the wage hike, add to that the extra taxes the restaurants have to pay, then consider the trickle up/trickle down effect the new wage brings....supply costs going up because their suppliers need to come up with the money to pay their employees and make up for the rising cost in production due to the higher wage and add to that the money they are now being forced to shell out due to Obama care. Do the math, it's breaking businesses. I'd like to see people make more money too, but I rather see them make less and have a job than watch one business after another fold under the weight of all the new expense, leaving more people unemployed. In my community alone we already have one fatality due to the wage increase.

Paul Brent
Paul Brent

I believe the tip is given to the server therefore the tip does not belong to the employer in the first place.

Edward Brian Johnson
Edward Brian Johnson

Just another corporate hell hole. If you knew about what went on at corporate restaurants; both 'back of house' and money saving measures, you wouldn't eat at these establishments with their highly crafted ads all showing chefs slaving over the finishing touches of yer meal...give me a break

jasonareck
jasonareck

I think its pretty accurate. If' I'd written it, I might have even used a word like "stealing"

jasonareck
jasonareck

@TREE No. It is only legal for the restaurants to collect the CC fees on the tips, not the entire check

TREE
TREE

The server gets charged 2% on the TOTAL OF THEIR CREDIT CARD TRANSACTIONS NOT JUST TIPS.  The TOTAL amount of your meal, NOT just your tip.  So if you leave a 18% tip your server only gets 16%


jasonareck
jasonareck

It varies by state. Some states allow collection of credit card fees for tips. None allow the collection of fees for the entire check though.

TREE
TREE

Yes, you claim your tips and it is taxed AS INCOME just like your salary

TREE
TREE

Yes, you claim your tips and it is taxed AS INCOME just like your salary

jasonareck
jasonareck

Why not start charging servers for the toilet paper they use while they work? Or make them pay the sales tax too? It's bad enough that restaurants pass the cost of wages onto the customers, but now they want to pass the rest of the cost of doing business onto the employees themselves?  get real. The only reason the servers are getting tips in the first place is because the restaurant owners are too cheap to pay a living wage.

jasonareck
jasonareck

@TREE No. It is only legal for the restaurants to collect the CC fees on the tips, not the entire check.

Now Trending

Minnesota Concert Tickets

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

Loading...