Equitable Compensation Fee
For us, it's essential that our public understand we've invested a lot of time developing the values we work within. Our shift from a gratuity/tip-based model, inherently biased and arbitrary, did not come lightly or without process.
We implement an equity fee, often called a "service charge." We can distribute our equity fee fairly to hourly staff. While not taxable, gratuity cannot be distributed equitably and perpetuates a divided system. The Restaurant must claim the "service charge" as an increase in sales, and it's reported as taxable income, though none of the fees are given to the Restaurant. In contrast, our equity choice impacts profitability. We believe the long-term sustainability and benefit to our team are well worth the cost.
It comes at a cost to the Restaurant; we took a considerable financial risk by stepping outside the old ways. We want to lead with our moral compass and no longer ignore the inequalities baked into the gratuity-based system. Moving to an equity fee reinforces our values by focusing on shared responsibility and emphasizing that every team member is instrumental in our collective success.
We invite you to join the change we can create as a community. We understand that not all will agree with our decision to lead with inclusion, but we are grateful that the majority of our guests have recognized its value. As with most evolution and change, we acknowledge apprehension, but without the risk and curiosity of discomfort, there is no growth.
More details regarding our values and inclusion are available on our site and highlighted in a recent Food and Wine Magazine article. Please communicate with us if you would like to learn more or want a side-by-side comparison between the two models.
For those of you who took a moment to read this, we thank you for your time! We hope for future legislation to update archaic gratuity policies. Equality and equity are all of our responsibilities and should not cost the Restaurant or its guests to implement.