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Archive | Restaurant Management and Operations

Find great resources and tips on restaurant management and operations topics like human resources, food safety, going green, and more.

Help Your Staff Survive the Holidays


© iStockPhoto

The holidays signals one of the busiest times of year for most restaurants. Between holiday parties and special events, your reservation books might be booked solid for the next 6 weeks. You’ll need your staff in tip top shape to tackle the amount of guests coming in and out of your doors. Prepare them for more than just the holiday tracks on repeat and they’ll be ready.

1. Be honest
There’s something to be said about being direct with your team. Sure, your staff probably figures they’ll be working longer hours during the season, but it’s different when they are told up front. Sit your staff down (all of them, not just for a pre-service) and take that time to discuss the upcoming events & reservations on the books—assure them that while the hours might be longer the payouts will be greater. They’ll not only appreciate your transparency and time you spent to meet with them.

2. Fix the little things
When you’re stressed, you find the smaller things might set you off more easily. Maybe the mop bucket has had a broken caster for awhile, or the blades on your prep slicer need replacing. You might not realize it’s a big deal, but ask the staff member who has to use it every day (even multiple times a day) and you might hear another story. Take the time to update these small items now before those frustrations build up and cause a larger meltdown later.

3. Be present
Think of this as the “We’re all in it together!” mentality, which really helps when you’re in the weeds. If your staff sees you on the floor helping where needed it’ll make a big impact on their overall mood. So next time you’re kicking back in the office, pop out front and help fill waters, seat a table, or just be available for questions from your team. Sure, some of this might be outside your typical scope of duties, but the holidays are a hectic time and your staff is hardly operating at 100%. Give them a helping hand, they’ll appreciate it, and work harder for you.

4. Gifting is never overrated
I know it’s 2015, post the economic meltdown of 2009, where things like bonuses and (most) lavish holiday parties went out the window in favor of just staying in business, period. I get it—operating a restaurant is a lot of work with a small profit margin. Thing is, your staff knows it too. It doesn’t have to be much; whether it’s a small gift card for coffee, or maybe some homemade goodies you took the time to create. Whatever the gesture, your staff will appreciate it and you.

5. Remember – your staff has families too
Unlike retailers, some restaurants are expected to be open on Thanksgiving or Christmas (brunch anyone?). Guests are interested in spending time with their families, not cooking. Same thing goes for your staff. Remember that they each have friends and a family as well, and might want to carve out some time with them. When scheduling your team, try taking volunteers for the holiday shifts first before assigning them—you’ll find a much smoother service when people actually want to be there.

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5 Things to Do Before Starting a Restaurant


Opening a new restaurant isn’t for the faint of heart. Be sure to do your homework before starting a new venture. | © iStockPhoto

Opening your own restaurant is exciting! And perhaps it’s also a little daunting. Before you move forward with your new business venture you’ll want to do some legwork so you can minimize potential mistakes you might make. Preparation is key in the restaurant industry and without proper planning you could find yourself scrambling for funds and customers early on. Consider these five tasks before embarking on a new restaurant.

1. Assess your personality and lifestyle.
Starting a business that conflicts with your nature and schedule is either going to reflect poorly on your personal life, or your restaurant. Before deciding on a food concept and bringing your idea to life, take an honest look at what personality type you have and your lifestyle. For example, if you’re a morning person that likes to be in bed by nine, you’re not going to fair well in a late night bar environment. A bakery or coffee shop would better suit you, as you’d be required to rise at the crack of dawn with your customers rather than saunter home after 2 a.m.

2. Draft a partnership agreement.
Just like our personal relationships, a business relationship can quickly go sour. When starting a restaurant with a partner or team of investors, it’s important that you have a formal partnership agreement in writing. This contract should clearly state each individual’s roles and responsibilities, and what would be the exit plan or buyout should someone choose to leave later on. Foregoing this document can lead to more conflict, financial debates and even lawsuits. No matter if you’re going into business with a family member or friend, a partnership agreement is a must before any real maneuvers are made.

3. Research your location.
When choosing a location for a restaurant, owners sometimes focus on traditional features like the cost and layout and fail to properly research the property. It’s in your best interest to learn as much about your prospective location as possible. Who were the previous renters? Does the space have a history of failed businesses? If a spot has a long track record of restaurants going out of business, it’d be naïve to think your restaurant would be any different. In addition to doing a background check, a little investigation into the future can eliminate surprises down the road. Check in with the city’s planning and zoning department and inquire about any future construction or development scheduled in the centralized area.

4. Create a marketing strategy.
Don’t start writing your business plan before having spent some time thinking about marketing. It’s something you will want to include in detail, and can be a lifeline for a new restaurant. The first year can be rough — customers will come and go and unexpected expenses can eat up funding faster than you thought. Your marketing strategy should include different methods, such as how to reach out to local businesses and your approach for social media, so that you can obtain and retain a loyal customer base that will help get your business off the ground.

5. Tap into local and government resources for small businesses.
If this is your first restaurant, you’re probably unaware of the assistance available to help first time business owners. Your local city hall should be able to educate you on registration procedures and point you in the direction of the city’s building department. From there you will be instructed on permitting procedures and restrictive ordinances that will strengthen your knowledge on securing a restaurant location and making any renovations.

For more generalized procurement information, the U.S. Small Business Administration is a helpful resource that can provide you with facts on how to start a restaurant, applying for grants and loans, and different programs available to entrepreneurs. Tap into any free education available and learn what red tape you’ll face before you finalize any plans.

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Back of House Inspection Checklist

health-inspector-safety-checklistVisits from the health inspector are typically unannounced, so you’ll always want to be prepared. Follow these 10 simple back of house practices to pass any inspection with flying colors.

1. Temperature Logs

Maintaining proper product temperatures is one of the most important items on your checklist. Your product is one of the largest operating expenses you’ve got, and to throw it all in the trash would be a serious hit to your bottom line—not to mention serious consequences if any of your diners became ill. Be extra vigilant in warmer months by regularly checking temperature logs on your refrigerators, freezers and dry storage areas.

2. Do not overfill food pans

Perhaps not as obvious as #1, but overfilling your food pans almost guarantees that the top layer of the food will rise in temperature. Most are designed to ensure foods are 41° F or below, and will safely store cold foods (not cool them). Only fill your pans to their prescribed levels to ensure foods stay cold and safe to use.

San Jamar - RCU64 - Rapi-Kool 64 oz Cold Paddle

San Jamar – RCU64 – Rapi-Kool 64 oz Cold Paddle

3. Try a Cold Paddle

Cool soups and stock quickly and safely by investing in a Rapi-Kool® Cold Paddle from San Jamar. Putting hot food directly into the refrigerator will cause the inside of your refrigerator to warm up faster than the fridge can cool it down (and warm food will start to spoil). Designed to chill foods from the inside-out, you’ll decrease your risk of bacterial growth when you use an ice paddle made of food grade plastic that’s safe to use for rapidly cooling hot foods. Plus, it’s dishwasher safe!

4. Check your deliveries

Never take it for granted that product arriving to your restaurant each morning was stored and packaged properly during transport. Take the extra time, and keep a few thermometers (like a thermocouple) in your receiving area so you can check the temperature of your protein without poking a hole.

5. Protect food from cross-contamination

Raw proteins are known to carry harmful bacteria, like Salmonella (chicken). Bacteria can easily spread by sharing utensils, cutting boards, etc. Ensure you keep your guests safe by dedicating certain supplies for protein and the other to vegetables. Also, wash your hands frequently!

6. Storing the sanitizer bucket

One evening while dining out with my family, both my husband and mother asked for a refill on waters at the end of the meal. Suddenly both found themselves choking. Apparently, instead of pouring water into their glasses, the server reached for a pitcher of cleaning chemicals instead—sending both to the emergency room.

The pitcher of cleaning solution, we learned later, was sitting on a bus cart. The server was unaware that the pitcher contained toxic chemicals.

In June of this year, Andres Lorente of Bernicarlo, Spain, was served a clear, odorless, glassful of industrial cleaner that had been stored inside a wine bottle inside the fridge. Unfortunately for Lorento, he did not survive the severe burns to his throat and stomach after taking a small sip of the liquid.

San Jamar - KP196RD - Kleen-Pail® 6 Qt Red Sanitizer Bucket

San Jamar – KP196RD – Kleen-Pail® 6 Qt Red Sanitizer Bucket

While you may think both of these examples are exaggerated, Who would store cleaning chemicals in a pitcher to serve water? Why would anyone put dishwasher cleaner into a wine bottle in the fridge? Stories of these are all too common, and it’s better safe to prepare for a lack of common sense than to cause serious harm to patrons and lose your restaurant (and reputation).

Keep chemicals in approved chemical-only buckets and containers, and ensure your sanitization buckets (like this sanitizer bucket from san Jamar) are always located below and away from food to prevent cross-contamination. Also consider investing in sanitizer test strips to monitor the concentration of your sanitizing solution because more is not necessarily better. Also ensure you use separate wipe cloths for cleaning food prep equipment (like cutting boards) and for disinfecting surfaces.

7. Check plumbing frequently

Regular maintenance of your plumbing can save you some big bills later on. Health inspectors check for proper plumbing fixtures such as backflow devices, and also check to make sure you have sinks designed for food safe operations (like rinsing dishes) and cleaning (like a mop/slop sink).

8. Keep food surfaces fully operational

You might not have noticed that your cutting boards look a bit worn lately, sporting deep grooves that could trap unsafe bacteria and be difficult to clean. Or maybe your equipment and utensils are sporting wear like corrosion or peeling (non-stick pan?)—whatever the case, anything that comes into contact with food needs to be in proper working order.

9. Cleanliness is next to…

Well you know how the saying goes. Keeping a clean kitchen is one of the easiest (and most obvious) things you can do stay on the good side of health inspectors. Rodent droppings, excessive flies, or other insects can contaminate your food stores and spread disease. Need help cleaning in the hard-to-reach places? Check out our blog post for some help »

10. Lead your staff

You can’t be expected to be in the kitchen 24/7 (though it feels like you are). Take the time to train your staff on proper safety measures and you’ll pass any inspection with flying colors. It’s a two-way street though—you can’t expect your staff to follow proper protocol if you don’t, so lead by example and set the stage for an A grade from the health inspector each and every time.

Interested in finding out other violations that inspectors look for? Check out the guide, What to Expect When You’re Inspected: A Guide for Food Service Operators from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Though specific to NYC, this guide has great information on the inspection process and what items you could be graded on.

You can also get more tips from the National Restaurant Association »

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8 Tips for Getting and Keeping Employees in the Restaurant Industry

Now Hiring in the Restaurant

Finding and keeping the right employees can be a challenge in any industry, but without fail, it’s the restaurant industry that leads in employee turnover and retention every year. Some of it’s due to the median age range being between 16-24 (which is the primary age of students that hold temporary jobs) and other parts of it is due to restaurateurs lack of employee retention investments.

With one of the biggest challenges being to find the right employees and the other making sure they stick around, let’s roll into tactics on how you can get a leg up on sourcing the right employees and keeping them happy.

1. Recruiting Online

Looking for new recruits is easy with the help of online job boards, social media, and free listings on sites such as Craigslist. Not only can you source for the right type of employee in your listings, you can also review recruits online resumes and LinkedIn accounts to learn more about them before you even begin engaging.

2. Look For Unconventional Talent

Outside of the 16-24 year old workers, what other segments could you be recruiting? Baby boomers are a great start. This rather large generation is set to retire in the coming years and they’re not the type to sit and twiddle their thumbs. This is a great generation to market to – they’re dedication and experience could surprise you. There are also stay-at-home moms that are returning to the workforce. They may not have worked ‘traditionally’ over the past few years, but their organizational and corralling skills are off the charts!

3. Interviewing Smarts

You should be devoting time to improving internal communication, as well as, making sure new recruits are a cultural fit. Listen carefully – do you get the vibe you want and that will fit with your current employees? Do they talk about team more or working alone more? Make sure to look for cues that will fit the position… if you can’t sit through a conversation with them, why would you have them serving your customers? If you don’t have your own list of interview questions, search the Internet for questions to ask – there’s a slew of information out there.

P.S. Please, please, please follow-up with references. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

4. Test Them Before They Come In

Testing employees may sound like something that only corporate businesses do, but a lot of restaurants and fast-casual establishments have found a lot of luck with weeding out the bad candidates and narrowing down to the perfect fit. Companies like Wonderlic and Merchants are great for analyzing personality, as well as, sniffing out bad behavior like drug abuse, alcohol abuse, hostility, violence, lying, and employee theft in the workplace. The total cost for these tests is relatively low, especially when it comes to the potential costs of hiring the wrong employee.

5. Existing Employees Are Your In House Stars

And they deserve to know they are stars. If you haven’t invested time in getting to know who your employees are outside of work, why should they care about you or your business? Networking to improve your business, should always start in-house… make sure your employees know you care about them.

6. Give Them The Tools They Need

Employees can only be as successful as the tools they’re given to improve what they do. If there are tools to help them do their job better, it may be worth the investment. Whether it be training, technology, or new product, investing in job improvement is always a win-win.

P.S. If you’re worried about paying for tools just to have the employee turn around and leave, don’t. If they want to leave, they will, but what you’re establishing is a work environment that builds confidence and trust in your employees. You’re showing them that you’re willing to pay to make them better… and that could quite possible be one of the best places to work for.

7. Recognize The Rockstars

It’s one thing to tell an employee that they’re doing a good job, but it’s another thing to tell everyone that they’re doing a great job. Let the entire team know who deserves the kudos – whether it be on a corkboard or posted right above the time clock. We all love to be recognized for our efforts, and when we see someone else winning at that, it makes us want to push ourselves to be seen as the rockstar too.

8. Community Is Everything

If you’re working on communicating better with your employees, you should also work on creating better communication between the entire team. Whether it be a communal lunch before opening or a quick meeting after closing, making sure everyone is on the same track and understood is essential in building internal community. Make sure to bring up quick wins – a customer satisfaction comment, a new menu item comment, an efficiency comment, etc.

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6 Tips on Boosting Your Restaurants Most Profitable Items on the Menu

Server at Restaurant

Profit margins are notoriously slim in the restaurant world, but boosting the volume of drinks and desserts you sell can be one of the simplest ways to generate more profit from every customer served. Here are six simple ways to sell more of the items that stand to put the most cash back into your restaurant.

1. Package your meals appropriately.

Offering some meals in a prix fixe format can be a symbiotic tactic you can leverage to sell your most profitable items in a way that feels like a value to the customer. Additionally, custom menus encourage diners to try profitable items that they love, but wouldn’t typically consider without the “package” deal, including a specialty cocktail, dessert or dessert wine.

2. Redesign your menu.

Effective menu design is an art and science; the images and layout you use to “tell a story” while guiding the diner’s eye where you most want it to go is a key piece to selling more of the items you want. Because the upper right corner of the menu is generally where the eye travels first, your most profitable items should be featured there. If you can avoid indicating prices (or at best, can minimize the level of attention they get on the menu), you also stand the best chance of convincing customers based on imagery and language, versus price alone.

3. Tweak your language.

Revamping the language you use to relevantly appeal to your customer’s motivations, needs, and desires can have a significant impact on your ability to sell profitable items. In fact, Brian Wansink, professor and director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University estimates that using descriptive terms on your menu can boost sales by as much as 27 percent. Likewise, training wait staff to approach profitable items as a sales-oriented conversation versus a closed-ended question (“Do you want to hear our specials?”) can change the outcome of the order, too.

4. Give a complimentary “introducer.”

Boosting your profits by offering free food may seem counter-intuitive, but when you offer complimentary items like freshly baked bread, chips, or olives, they ideally make people want to order something even more profitable as an accompaniment. You establish a “win-win,” e.g. tasty basket of chips and salsa presented alongside your mouth-watering margarita menu can act as a natural food pairing.

5. Make the customer feel valued.

Free food on the table doesn’t just appease a hungry customer, it can make them willing to order at a certain threshold at your restaurant in exchange for your generosity — especially if the “freebie” is perceived as high quality. In a Freakonomics podcast about free appetizers, Cornell University professor Michael Lynn supported that theory, stating that “by giving away free items you’re increasing the appeal of what you have to offer to the public.”

6. Create a feeling of celebration.

Wansink also explains in the Freakonomics podcast that diners have different mental scripts based on the dining occasion, and will typically “perform” appropriate to that script and corresponding “consumption norms.” For example, because desserts and drinks typically accompany special occasions and celebrations, a diner who may not typically order dessert may do just that when the meal is for a special occasion, simply due to social norms. You can boost the likelihood that diners consider your profitable drinks and desserts by leveraging celebrations to your advantage. Train servers to ask if a special occasion brings diners in, and suggestively sell based on that response. (For example, a recently engaged couple will likely respond to champagne, while a couple who just found out they’re having a baby girl will likely respond to the opportunity to indulge in cake with pink icing.) In addition, you can create a lively and celebratory atmosphere supported by appropriate music, scents and sounds that generally make diners feel like they want to stay longer for dessert and drinks.

There may be limits to the prices you can negotiate with your suppliers, or the price you can command for various items from customers without hurting demand, but there are many small yet mighty tactics restaurant owners can leverage to drive profitable drink and dessert sales. With the collective impact of these small changes, you can have a significant impact on your bottom line, and the brand image you form for your restaurant in the customer’s mind.

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Spotlight: Tundra Restaurant Design Services

Tundra Design Services

Did you know Tundra provides a full menu of restaurant design and renovation services?

It’s true! Led by seasoned designers Jeff B. Katz and Bob E. McLaren, our team has over 70 years of combined experience and a gorgeous and diverse portfolio to show for it. (As a matter of fact, Jeff literally wrote the book on restaurant design.)

Working with your architect and interior designer, Tundra can design your restaurant—front and back of the house—with a perfect blend of form and function.

Our Restaurant Design Process

Whether you are planning a quaint neighborhood bistro or an expansive hotel dining room, every design project rests on the principles of clear communication, close attention to detail, and a spirit of collaboration.

In the initial discovery process, we work with our clients to assemble a clearly written document outlining demographic data, key objectives they want to deliver, the menu they want to showcase, and the facility they want to bring it altogether in. This document guides the design process and ensures that key concepts are integrated and goals met.

Next, in the development stage, our designers complete their comprehensive design program based on your operational plan. This can be used by all members of your design team and helps to define the required spaces, relationships, and design elements for the successful construction and operation of your restaurant.

Lastly, in the delivery stage, we address any unexpected conditions or challenges that might arise throughout the construction process. This is where our experience in construction and our understanding of operational constraints comes in handy. We are able to resolve issues quickly and maintain forward momentum to keep the project on time and on budget.

Looking for a Restaurant Design Quote?

Tell us about your design needs and overall objectives and we’ll get right to work! Our proposals are known for being detailed, accurate and thorough, accounting for taxes and freight.

And since our design team has direct access to the Tundra inventory, as well as long-standing relationships in the industry, we are able to prepare very competitive bids—without sacrificing quality.

To get started, call 888-388-6372, then press 3, or submit a design-quote request online. We’re excited to learn more about your restaurant’s objectives, and offer you a custom quote that matches your goals, concepts and operational needs.

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Fryer Safety Checklist


Fortunately, most modern fryers are simple and easy to use. But whenever you add 400°F oil to the mix, extreme caution is essential. What follows is a list of things to consider (please see our disclaimer at the end) if your commercial kitchen prepares deep-fried food.

Non-Slip Footwear

Slip- and Grease-Resistant Floor Mats

Personal Safety Equipment

Ladders and Footstools

Kitchen Layout and Storage

  • Set up work areas to reduce the need for reaching and climbing near exposed oil. Store frequently used items on accessible shelves away from fryers.
  • Keep fryer area free of clutter, electrical cords, etc.
  • Lay out kitchen without tight or blind corners to avoid collisions; provide enough work space to avoid collisions near fryer.

Education and Training

  • Fryer training: develop strict staff training/mentoring procedures to ensure safe operation and maintenance of your fryers.
  • First aid training: first aid is the best way to minimize the damage caused by a fryer-related burns and carbon monoxide exposure. Ensure there is at least one first-aid trained staff member on duty at all times.
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning awareness: educate staff about the specific procedures needed to prevent and respond to the symptoms of CO poisoning.

Quality Equipment and Oil

Safe Cleaning and Grease Transport

  • Clean fryers in the morning, when fryer oils have cooled.
  • Establish clear safety procedures for the transport of used fryer oil.

Note: this fryer safety checklist is NOT exhaustive. Be sure to understand and comply with all relevant occupational safety regulations, and read our Terms of Use before acting on any of the recommendations listed here.

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Grease Traps: Everything You Always Wanted to Know (and More!)

Remember the London fatberg story?

Sorry if you were trying to put it out of your mind.

As you might recall, in August 2013 sewer workers in London discovered a double-decker-bus-sized mass of grease and wet naps, which was immortalized in the tabloids as “fatberg.” The berg had nearly blocked the entire 7-foot diameter pipe. Had it fully blocked the pipe, residents of the London borough of Kingston would’ve been in for a MOST UNPLEASANT surprise.

“The sewer was almost completely clogged,” sewer worker Gordon Hailwood told the Guardian. “If we hadn’t discovered it in time, raw sewage could have started spurting out of manholes across the whole of Kingston.”

The 15-ton London fatberg incident is a great illustration of the unheralded importance—to our infrastructure and to our public health—of grease traps: those toolbox-sized containers that commercial kitchens put below their sinks. The purpose of grease traps, also known as grease interceptors, is to reduce the amount of fats, oils and greases (FOGs) that enter our sewer systems.

As anyone who has cooked bacon knows, grease congeals when it cools, and can cling to and eventually clog your pipes if you pour it down the drain. The London fatberg incident shows what happens, on a macro level, when too much grease oozes into the public sewer system. Because when too much grease accumulates in the sewer, raw sewage has nowhere else to go but … everywhere.

According to data from the Environmental Protection Agency, sewers back up an estimated 400,000 times each year due to pipe blockages, and and grease is the primary culprit, resulting in over 10 billion gallons of raw sewage spills each year.

So, the moral of the story? Grease traps are a VERY good thing that EVERYONE benefits from, and that’s why virtually every municipality requires their use in commercial kitchens to prevent FOGs from clogging public sewer lines.

That said, not all grease traps are created equal! To ensure that your device not only does the job but proves durable over the long run, head over to and shop of wide selection of top-of-the-line grease traps!

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Tundra’s Toolbox: Putting the ROI in DIY

Assorted tools

Here’s a lesson we’ve learned about the restaurant and food service business:

The more stuff you can fix on your own, without having to hire pricey contractors, the more money you can save. And when you save money, you feel good. Fix stuff, feel good. Rinse and repeat.

Fortunately, food service professionals are already a handy lot. We’re used to solving problems and getting things done. What’s more, we use “tools” to ply our trade every day.

But if you’re going to roll up your sleeves and do it yourself, you’re going to need the right tools for the job, and that’s where we can help you. (You didn’t know Tundra carried tools? Yes, yes we do!)

Tundra’s toolbox features high-quality wares from brands like Alfa, Commercial, CHG, Winco and others. Whether you need a basic item like an adjustable wrench or a specialty piece like a cutting board refinishing tool, we’ve got you covered.

And for those of you just getting started, our tool collections, such as this 27-piece kit, will help you tackle all but the most challenging DIY projects.

If you’re brave enough to troubleshoot electrical and gas issues, we even have a couple of helpful books to guide your efforts.

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How Much Should Restaurant Workers Be Paid?

Pay for restaurant workers. It’s an issue that manages to unite us and divide us at the same time.

According to the National Restaurant Association, half of all American adults have worked in the restaurant industry at some point during their lives, and a third got their first job in a restaurant.

Most of us, in other words, can sympathize with the plight of low-paid restaurant workers because we’ve been there ourselves at some point, or have a friend or relative who struggles to cover basic needs while working full-time in a food-service position.

Divisions emerge when we stop to consider what, if anything, to do about it. Should we raise the minimum wage? Should we abolish tipping altogether? Should we pressure owners to pay their employees a living wage? Or should we let “the market” sort itself out and avoid potentially messy policy intervention?

Traditionally, many restaurateurs at our country’s 980,000 food-service establishments argue that forcing proprietors to pay their workers more will simply result in either less hiring or worse: layoffs. Further, they say that paying workers more would result in higher prices for patrons, who might decide to stay home and cook.

The counter-argument, one that I agree with, is that modestly raising pay standards to keep pace with inflation and other cost of living metrics is not only the right thing to do from an ethical standpoint, but will have the added benefit of stimulating more economic activity overall, because compensation isn’t’t a zero-sum game.

After all, folks who work in restaurants like to eat out as much as everyone else! If they’re paid a decent wage, they’ll have the means to patronize local restaurants once in a while.

What’s more, there’s the issue of fairness. Consider the situation in New York City, where nearly two-thirds of restaurant servers live at or below the poverty line. How is this situation OK? This strikes me as a classic example of a market failure ripe for correction.

In the meantime, whether you support change or the status quo, we as patrons can make sure our servers are tipped well, because tips aren’t simply bonuses paid on top of good wages. Without tips—heck, even with them—the far majority of restaurant workers wouldn’t be able to make ends meet.

And if you’re not convinced that your tip makes a difference, check out this powerful video.

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