Today, the association is led by restaurant chains that successfully lobbied to block federal and state minimum wage increases and freeze the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers at $2.13 from per hour federally and $5 per hour or less in most cases. States. Forcing these workers to live primarily on tips contributes to racial inequity: Research shows that black servers and workers of color in general receive less tips than their white counterparts. Tipping has also contributed to restaurants having the worst sexual harassment rates of any industry: when the customer pays your wages, the customer is always right, even when what the customer is doing is horribly wrong.
But it never had to be like this. Seven states — California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Montana, Minnesota and Alaska — have historically required full minimum wage for tipped restaurant workers with tips on top, and most of they also have untipped kitchen staff salaries that are higher than the national. medium. Despite the National Restaurant Association’s ongoing fear that rising wages would kill the industry, these seven states generally saw higher restaurant employment growth rates, smaller full-service restaurant growth rates, and tip averages higher than the other 43 states.
In “The Bear”, Carmy insists on calling everyone “boss”. It’s a way to calm the kitchen chaos, yes, but it’s also a signal that he values his employees as professionals and human beings. He learns the hard way that if he doesn’t show them respect, they will leave. A growing number of employers across the country are coming to this realization. Many are offering their staff perks and perks that were unheard of before the pandemic. At One Fair Wage, we’ve tracked thousands of restaurants in all 43 states that allow below-minimum wages that are now paying salaries of $15, $20, $25 and more, plus tips, in order to recruit staff. This is a significant increase since before the pandemic, and it includes dozens of restaurants that have fought our efforts to raise wages in the past.
In the United States, support for living wages for restaurant workers is growing. In Michigan, the courts have just ruled that $12 plus tip (compared to $3.75 now) is the law; although it will likely be appealed, policymakers are already working to enforce it, and more than 600,000 signatures have been submitted to raise the salary further, to $15 plus tip. In November, voters in Washington, DC, will consider a ballot measure to raise the pay of all workers, including kitchen workers and tip workers, to $15 plus tips. In Portland, Maine, a similar move could boost restaurant worker earnings to $18 an hour plus tips. There is also legislation on the issue advancing in New York, Illinois and Massachusetts – and One Fair Wage is working with partners and lawmakers to introduce legislation in many more states in 2023.
Season 1 of “The Bear” ends with an indication that Carmy’s sandwich shop, The Original Beef of Chicagoland, is about to reinvent itself. Likewise, the restaurant industry is reinventing itself, thanks to the collective courage of the millions of workers who speak up or leave – and the thousands of restaurateurs and policymakers who are now listening.