If you eat at Bonfire, your tips aren't making it into that smiling server's pocket at the end of the day without a grab-and-dash toll tax to the restaurant.
Derek Johnson, a server at Bonfire in St. Paul, has been slinging dishes at the popular wood-fire pizzeria since mid-summer. He says a month after he started, he served a large party that tipped him about $80, but at the end of the shift Bonfire withheld 2 percent.
When Johnson asked where the rest was, his manager explained that the restaurant had a legal right to take a percentage of servers' tips to cover credit card fees. Though Bonfire is actually correct in that according to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, Johnson's pissed because no one bothered to tell him they were taking his money.
As a result, for a while he was claiming more than he was actually making, and paying taxes on imaginary income, Johnson says.More »