Server Speak: Should Your Tips Count Toward the Minimum Wage?

Kyle Munshower Position: Barback Years in the industry: 2  Aster Cafe, Minneapolis So, this is my second summer as a barback, which means I don't have a whole lot of interaction with the guests; the servers are still essentially the face of the restaurant. It also means I don't get tipped out directly by guests; I get my tips from the servers and the bartenders. I suppose my whole philosophy is that people ought to be paid enough by their employer without tips to be able to live. That's the whole thing right? Like $15 an hour is more or less a living wage? That being said, I think people should still be able to claim all of their tips on top of their wage. However, guests will also be aware of any minimum wage hikes and will probably adjust tips accordingly. But if you provide outstanding service, and the guest notices that, I see no reason to not keep that on top of the wage.

Server Speak: Should Your Tips Count Toward the Minimum Wage?

Bailey Hubbs Position: Server/Barista Years in the industry: 1  Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, St. Paul I’m a high school student. I’m not paying off student loans. For me, it doesn’t really make a difference, but [tips] help a lot. There are a lot of young college students trying to pay off student loans that work here and the tips definitely help when they’re on top of minimum wage. 

Server Speak: Should Your Tips Count Toward the Minimum Wage?

John Thomas Position: Line Cook Years in the industry: 5  Acadia, Minneapolis They need to stay separate. One of my current employers told me when I applied that the job averaged out to be $15 or $16 an hour with tips. But I'm making minimum plus tips there, so only $9 is guaranteed, and let me tell you I've been closer to $11 or $12 an hour than the figure they gave me. If they promised to make up the difference if the tips weren't there, I'd be fine with having tips included in what they say is my wage but that's not how it works. The small bump happening this August [from $9 to $9.50] has not affected my opinion on the matter.

Server Speak: Should Your Tips Count Toward the Minimum Wage?

Abby Grosse Position: Server/Bartender Years in the industry: 4  Ox Cart Ale House, St. Paul I feel like I need the incentive of a tip to feel motivated to do this work, and I don’t think I’m the only one.

Server Speak: Should Your Tips Count Toward the Minimum Wage?

Brighid Burkhalter Position: Barista Years in the industry: 1  Mapps Coffee & Tea, Minneapolis That is a complicated question since tips vary from job to job. I know as a barista, depending on the day, I walk away with anywhere from $4 to $20. Since a goal of raising the minimum wage is to create a living wage, I think it would make sense for tips to be included inside one’s wage.

 

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