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Northbound's owner responds, and explains the 'tip credit'

Courtney Perry, Star Tribune

Courtney Perry, Star Tribune

Reader Jamie Robinson responds to Northbound owner: If you don't want a tip credit, we don't want your business:

You ignored 90% of our conversation and just wrote sensationalistic garbage. Our conversation started and was dominated by how 15 NOW's proposals are, in fact, regressive. I explained this to you.

I have no problem with you reporting the fact that people who seek to destroy the livelihoods of my servers are not welcome in my brewpub, but you completely misrepresented my stance.

I told you that without a tip credit, I would need to move to a no-tip model and pay my servers $18/hr instead of the $30/hr they are currently earning with tips. I would do this because the mandate without a tip credit would leave my $13/hr cooks behind. A no-tip model would allow the owner to redistribute wages in a fairer way.

For those who are unfamiliar with a tip credit, a tip credit is simply counting all taxable income toward the minimum wage. If a server fails to earn $15/hr with tips, the employer is required to compensate up to $15. Simple. Tip income is already taxed as regular income.

My servers averaged $29.33/hr with tips in 2016. Without counting tips toward a new $15/hr minimum wage, restaurants will be forced to give raises to $29/hr servers for *four* years before $13/hr cooks see a dime.

Most restaurant owners won't let this happen and will change to a no-tip model with a service fee instead in order to get raises to the cooks who need it, resulting in a lower hourly wage for servers. This is already happeing in states that have passed 15 without a tip credit. Servers understand this. And that is why the vast majority of servers are fighting *for* a tip credit. I challenge you to find even *one* full service restaurant server in Minneapolis who supports 15 NOW.