About the service charge: A 5% surcharge will be added to your check. It replaces the older system of servers “tipping out” support staff. (see below) 100% of this charge is going to the restaurant and is used to provide a better living wage to non tipped employees. As our servers are no longer tipping out, it is appropriate for you to deduct this charge from your server’s tip.
Why Are we doing this: Long overdue increases to the minimum wage have prompted us to move to a new model of compensation that will be sustainable and fair in the long run for our entire staff. Our previous compensation structure (which was similar to virtually every other restaurants in Seattle) was such that the only people seeing raises from recent minimum wage increases were service staff who were already at the top of our pay scale when tips were factored in. Across Seattle and beyond, kitchen staff are paid hourly wages that are often well above the minimum, but their total compensation lags far behind their service staff counterparts.
Why not just force service staff to share their tips with the kitchen staff? State and national labor law only allows tips to be shared with staff members who are involved in the “chain of service”. So it is not legal for restaurant operators to mandate that tips be shared with kitchen staff.