NJ Restaurant Owner Sparks Outrage: Should Servers, Bartenders Make $15/Hour?
This story really proves that no matter what you do, you really will always upset someone.
Tim McLoone, who currently owns and operates ten Jersey Shore restaurants, recently announced that he will be paying all of his restaurant staff $15/hour across the board.
Believe it or not, the announcement was met with quite a bit of backlash which is surprising because when I first read about this, I only sensed Tim had good intentions:
"What about the servers and bartenders?"
"I am no longer tipping at your restaurants"
"I bet you are going to raise prices now"
"I bet you are only doing this to make money and that you drive a Lamborghini."
Sheesh....folks, take a breathe.
"I drive a van. I haven't raised prices one cent and I don't plan to. All of this can fall under the category of no good deed goes unpunished," sighed Tim McLoone.
When you get down to it, the main reason behind the backlash is out of defense for the servers and bartenders.
Think about it -- if they started making $15/hour, they would most likely take a pay cut versus accepting tips.
But don't worry, it is only being applied to hourly, non-tip staff members.
"The dishwashers, the people who clean the buildings, the food preps, the hostesses. All those people. The back of the house. We were trying to help the non-tip people," McLoone explained. "This does not apply to the servers, the bartenders. They usually make more than $15 an hour in tips anyway."
Let me just start by saying I love this rule change. Bussers, food preps and hostesses are all hustling on a busy night just like the servers and bartenders. It is well deserved.
But as a former server and bartender myself, I am wondering what you think on this: Is it a mistake to leave out the servers and bartenders?
Overseas, bartenders and servers make an hourly wage and tipping is not really a thing.
And this provides servers overseas with one thing that US restaurant workers don't have: stability.
You know what you are making each shift and servers no longer run the risk of making crap money on a slow night or because of a lack of proper tips. (Trust me, it happens more than you think)
On the other hand, the "USA way" pays servers and bartenders $3.13/hour with a majority of the cash coming in tips.
On a busy Summer night at the Jersey Shore, servers and bartenders can pull in HUNDREDS! Especially if they are at a higher-end joint where folks who are well off plan to go while vacationing.
I served and bartended for years and I still go back and forth on this very debate because there were many times I was stiffed or went home with much less money than I should have.
But there were also those nights where tipping worked in my benefit -- 20% here, 25% there -- and the night would finish with a wad of cash in my hand.
So, do you think this $15.00/hour should be applied to servers and bartenders just like overseas?
P.S. For now, our servers and bartenders are still relying on your tips. If you don't have the money to tip, you don't have the money to go out.
Take a look at the Tim McLoone update at Patch.com.
While you decide your thoughts on this, let's take a look at all of Tim McLoone's restaurants at the Jersey Shore: