Blue Plate backtracks, will no longer dip into servers' tips
Citing feedback from guests and the community, Blue Plate Restaurant Company has announced it will no longer dip into servers' tips, a practice it began when Minnesota's first minimum wage increase in nearly a decade went into effect August 1.
A press release announcing the move also announces that as of September 1, Blue Plate will pay all non-tipped employees a "living wage" of $9.69, which is about 20 percent above what the state's minimum wage law requires.
"We have always listened to our guests and our community," owner David Burley says in the statement. "Blue Plate is a family of small neighborhood restaurants and we value the hard work of our employees more than anything. Before we were founders we were servers."
"We've reflected and decided to try a different approach that will give our communities a clear indicator of who we are as a business," he continues.
In response to the news, some expressed cynicism about Blue Plate ownership's motives:
Wait so Blue Plate group is now able to give staff more than a dollar over min. wage after first making such a scene? That makes sense.
-- Maggie LaMaack (@MaggieLaMaack) August 20, 2014
While others give them credit for listening to their customers:
I assume Oasis Cafe still charging min wage fee. Blue Plate reversing due to customer feedback shows difference if you serve Blue America.
-- David Brauer (@dbrauer) August 20, 2014
Blue Plate owns a number of restaurants around the Twin Cities, including the Freehouse, the Lowry, and Longfellow Grill in Minneapolis, and the Groveland Tap and Highland Grill in St. Paul, among others.
Here's the entirety of the news release:
h/t -- MPR
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