Frequently Asked Questions
About Our Service Charge
We are moving to a model that’s ultimately fairer for our employees. Tipping only compensates the service staff who you directly connect with: your server, bartender and host, but not the people in the kitchen who prepare your food and keep things running smoothly. We’ve also just raised our wages for employees, and the service charge will help us pay for the increase.
Federal and state labor laws now prohibit restaurant operators from requiring service staff to share their tips with kitchen staff. The regulations will be enforced beginning in December 2016.
Our goal is for total compensation to remain the same or go up. Previously staff earned a lower minimum wage and income from tips, which they shared with co-workers. Now a server or bartender will receive 72% of the service charge as a commission, plus a higher base wage, better benefits, and opportunities for performance-based pay. The remainder is returned to all members of the crew in the form in higher wages, benefits, and performance-based pay.
That won’t solve the problem of inequity between Front of House and Back of House staff. Nor do we want to raise prices to a level that’s unsustainable for guests.
You still can. Your check will reflect the service charge, and your charge slip will still feature a tip line that’s optional.
The charge is based on the average gratuity at Iron Rabbit. We will track how this affects our staff and guests, and adjust as needed in 2017.
Service charges are used throughout the world, and increasingly throughout the Puget Sound region and nation. Research tells us there’s no correlation between quality of service and tip amounts, and that tipping doesn’t substantially help attract or retain more service-oriented workers. (Source: Cornell University, tippingresearch.com). In fact, we believe this step will improve service because our employees will be more secure in their jobs.