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Continued: Perfect storm rattles restaurants, wait staffs

  • Article by: JON TEVLIN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: August 6, 2014 - 12:01 AM

Kris Jacobs, executive director of Jobs Now Coalition, couldn’t cloak her sarcasm.

“You know, rich waitresses are ruining everything,” she deadpanned. “I think this is going to backfire.”

Dan McElroy, president of the Minnesota Restaurant Association, has not heard of any other restaurant issuing a minimum wage fee, and he said that while some have inquired about passing the credit card fees on to servers, “I don’t think it’s widely done in our market.”

McElroy said a 2013 survey found that the average employee in the metro area made $22.38 an hour with wages and tips, $18 outside the metro. He estimated the cost to workers of absorbing credit card fees to be about 30 cents an hour, meaning their actual gain from the wage hike is only 45 cents an hour.

Blois Olson, a public relations specialist who represents Blue Plate, said the owners are good employers who are a “values based, locally owned company” that “invests in neighborhoods.”

Fine, I’ll buy that. But, sorry, pinching servers because someone used a credit card just looks cheap. If, in fact, a 2 percent hit is really no big deal, they should just cover it, if only for the sake of appearance.

“It’s just bad morale when [Burley] drives up in a Porsche, and yet he wants my 2 ­percent,” an employee said.

jtevlin@startribune.com • 612-673-1702 • Follow Jon on Twitter: @jontevlin

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