Letters of the Day (Feb. 4): Restaurant tips and the minimum wage

  • Updated: February 3, 2014 - 6:37 PM

One is a customer’s prerogative — an expression of value. The other is a matter of basic fairness.


Photo: Chuck Todd • Contra Costa Times/MCT,

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How much value should a restaurant place on its servers? These workers, more than anyone else, become the face of the establishment. They exemplify the “brand” and interact the most with customers. Good servers who do their jobs well and “sell” the restaurant should be one of the establishment’s most valued assets.

Whether or not the tip culture is here to stay, a tip is and should be a completely separate consideration (“In the push for higher pay, don’t forget tips,” Feb. 1). It is between the customer and the server as extra compensation for providing excellent service, for going above and beyond, for the extra attention paid.

Business models may need to change for some. But as a community, we should fight for a fair minimum wage for everyone.


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Tips are factored in as wages in 43 states, and if they were factored into the equation in Minnesota, minimum-wage legislation would be much easier to pass.


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