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Service Charges That Aren't Tips


weinoo
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However this is not good enough for Living Wage by Memphis standards and we do not have a high cost of living by any means either. It's $14 or $15 an hour without insurance and I think it's $12 an hour with insurance, not a subsidy either.

This depends on how one calculates the living wage. The living wage for Memphis for a single adult with no dependents is only $7.56 per hour. A single adult with a child dependent is $13.35 per hour. If it is a family of four with two working adults, they can do it for around $10.00 per hour each in Memphis. These living wages include medical expenses. Currently, the average Memphis-area compensation for "Food Preparation & Service-Related" is $7.87 per hour -- barely enough to get by if you don't have any dependents.

Hey you can get primary care at (some) county health departments and some emergency rooms.

I hope you're joking when you say this. It is disgusting and morally bankrupt that, in the one of the richest countries in the world, we have people who are forced to avail themselves of hospital emergency rooms for primary care -- which, of course, means that they won't get any primary care but are instead compelled by economics to take their chances that they won't need critical care later on down the road.

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What's wrong with the safe guards we have in place ie food stamps and rent subsidies like my nephew tried to get but made too much money? He still has a nice place to live. He's not on the street. Nobody needs to feel bad for him or his employers. Feel very good.

Hey you can get primary care at (some) county health departments and some emergency rooms. Not so many heart transplants but you can get some primary care.

Methinks most living wage proponents never met a payroll in their lives. I could be wrong but I have yet to meet one.

I have no problem with the safeguards (a safety net is a good thing), just who ends up paying for them, and why they are being used. Why can't the companies pay a better wage so we as individual taxpayers don't have to foot the bill for their employees? I think the safety net should be for folks that lose their jobs, have a temporary injury etc. I know that companies can be profitable and still provide a decent wage, so why should I be the one as a taxpayer paying for someone's rent subsidy so MegaMart executives and shareholders get can a bigger return?

I'm a proponent of a livable wage, and I have to make payroll. It's hard, but it's the right thing to do.

Livable wage here I would guess is ~$10/hour. Fifteen years ago I lived, modestly but comfortably, on $5.00/hour. Adjusting for inflation (~3.5%/year), that would be $8.38/hour today.

I don't think any job is so menial that someone shouldn't be paid enough to live without subsidies.

Since this is venturing far off topic, I pray for forgiveness from the moderator.

Edit to clarify my thoughts on the safety net.

Edited by Darcie B (log)
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Ok maybe this is where the living wage rubber hits the road. It's twelve bucks an hour with full insurance benefits ladies and gentlemen. That's why I sucked alll the air out of the room when I first heard about it. Then sucked all the air out again. Then it's fourteen an hour if no insurance package.

I'm with y'all I think the wages you all have listed would be fine. But uh ugh, it's a lotta money for living wage. And that's why I am not for it, ie Living Wage.

Of course I'm for everyone having enough and being comfortable. But how many more years will you have to work to provide that, Darcie B??

Well all I can tell yah about the health department and emergency room stuff is I sure as shooting high tailed myself down there with my baby, Chef-boy 20+ years ago, when he had an ear infection and needed some meds. I don't know how obscene, deplorable, morally bankrupt and etc that is to you. I was dang happy about it.

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....But uh ugh, it's a lotta money for living wage. And that's why I am not for it, ie Living Wage.

Of course I'm for everyone having enough and being comfortable. But how many more years will you have to work to provide that, Darcie B??....

I'm not quite sure I follow. I AM comfortable. We went into the business knowing it would take several years before profitability. We worked paying decent into the equation from the start. We aren't going to be millionaires, for sure, but we will make an adequate amount. Guess we aren't greedy enough?

I really can't comprehend your logic. If someone isn't paid a living wage, the full cost of his/her needs will have to be met by the government/taxpayers. Are you saying you'd rather pay much higher taxes than have companies pay a decent wage? Because that is happens when people have to rely on subsidies and food stamps. Do you believe that the costs associated with someone going to the ER to get care he can't pay for just disappear? Those costs get passed through the system to everyone. Someone has to pay, why not let it be the companies who are employing the workers? That way the true cost is known up front, and isn't borne on the back end by the middle class.

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Darcie, what I'm saying is, how soon could any business afford to pay it's people $12 an hour plus full insurance benefits for unskilled labor as in dishwashing? The Living Wage movement which has been referenced in this thread is after big money they are calling "Living Wage". Not just what you and I would randomly think living wage is.

Ok what I'm saying is that there are services already in place to help people like me when my baby was sick back then (one time I went 20 years ago), like my nephew because he needs help (the irony is that he makes too much to get government assistance to get him out of the group home--go figure). So as to new high taxes agh no the tax money is there and being used. The services are there. Could it be better for sure but we do help people already.

Decent wage is fine great. Love decent wage.

Living Wage literally means something that we might not all be aware of. On the surface of course it sounds great. However in truth which is why I do not support it it means pay unskilled laborers as much (or more) than a degreed pastry chef in most areas. As much as a degreed line cook. $12 to $14 an hour is what Living Wage gets in Memphis TN. It's not a negotiable number. It's fixed. That's awful high to me.

You know if you can afford to pay your employees that much. More power to you if you can. But for lots of businesses that's too high. Drives up prices and the middle class people with skills who make that much money an hour just got sucker punched.

We already all pay into the services that are currently available.

Wonder what the prices would be like at Target if all the workers made $14 an hour?

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If the restaurant I currently work at used the living wage system we could afford approximately 1 dishwasher/prep/line/sous chef and 1 executive chef (paid about 30k a year) for the back of the house and 1 general manager (also at 30k a year), no host/hostess, no bussers, no runners, and 2 servers with 12 tables apice (in a restaurant with a per person check average of about $70). Everyone's back would break until either the restaurant closed or the staff demanded less pay for themselves so that we could hire more people. IMO paying someone based on their need rather than their ability is quite disturbing. It is also worse for the person who is more in need since the establishment will most likely fail sooner than later and that person's income will go from "under living wage" to "zero".

Sandy Levine
The Oakland Art Novelty Company

sandy@TheOaklandFerndale.com www.TheOaklandFerndale.com

www.facebook.com/ArtNoveltyCompany twitter: @theoakland

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If the restaurant I currently work at used the living wage system we could afford approximately 1 dishwasher/prep/line/sous chef and 1 executive chef (paid about 30k a year) for the back of the house and 1 general manager (also at 30k a year), no host/hostess, no bussers, no runners, and 2 servers with 12 tables apice (in a restaurant with a per person check average of about $70).  Everyone's back would break until either the restaurant closed or the staff demanded less pay for themselves so that we could hire more people.  IMO paying someone based on their need rather than their ability is quite disturbing.  It is also worse for the person who is more in need since the establishment will most likely fail sooner than later and that person's income will go from "under living wage" to "zero".

You're saying this ~70 seat restaurant with a $70/head check average can only afford 120k/yr in payroll?

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Hi gang,

Waitress in California here, don't throw tomatoes.....I wouldn't subject myself to the long late hours of waiting tables if I only earned the minimum wage or just a bit more. Don't be deceived, waiting tables is a skill. If it looks easy, you have a great server. I can't imagine why the boys in the kitchen work for the rates they do. I imagine they truly love what they're doing.

I celebrate any restaurant which chooses to treat employees better and provide them with much needed healthcare. I do not, however, appreciate using the menu as a soapbox. We all know Starbucks provides benefits and they don't have a big poster in the window. Whatever happened to doing nice things without looking around for praise? Why not hire a town crier to stand outside and yell recycled paper, organic strawberries, healthcare for dishwashers, biodegradable handsoap, we compost!!!!?

gotta go put on my lipgloss and serve the people. may you all have a prosperous weekend.

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Hi gang,

Waitress in California here, don't throw tomatoes.....I wouldn't subject myself to the long late hours of waiting tables if I only earned the minimum wage or just a bit more.  Don't be deceived, waiting tables is a skill.  If it looks easy, you have a great server.  I can't imagine why the boys in the kitchen work for the rates they do.  I imagine they truly love what they're doing. 

I celebrate any restaurant which chooses to treat employees better and provide them with much needed healthcare.  I do not, however, appreciate using the menu as a soapbox.  We all know Starbucks provides benefits and they don't have a big poster in the window.  Whatever happened to doing nice things without looking around for praise?  Why not hire a town crier to stand outside and yell recycled paper, organic strawberries, healthcare for dishwashers, biodegradable handsoap, we compost!!!!?

gotta go put on my lipgloss and serve the people.  may you all have a prosperous weekend.

I'm not suggesting that servers should make less money. The reason for the service charges in SF has been to improve wages and benefits for the back of the house, something I suspect you support.

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Living Wage literally means something that we might not all be aware of. On the surface of course it sounds great. However in truth which is why I do not support it it means pay unskilled laborers as much (or more) than a degreed pastry chef in most areas. As much as a degreed line cook. $12 to $14 an hour is what Living Wage gets in Memphis TN. It's not a negotiable number. It's fixed. That's awful high to me.

OK, now I understand where you are coming from. I was not aware of this mandatory "Living Wage," I was just saying living wage as in a wage someone could live on without assistance. Here, at least, it's below $14/hour. Maybe it's higher elsewhere.

I agree, it doesn't seem fair for a dishwasher to be paid the same as a degreed cook. I do think the bottom level should be raised, though. Yeah, it might raise prices but again, we are paying one way or another. The way it is now many of the costs are hidden.

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Living Wage literally means something that we might not all be aware of. On the surface of course it sounds great. However in truth which is why I do not support it it means pay unskilled laborers as much (or more) than a degreed pastry chef in most areas. As much as a degreed line cook. $12 to $14 an hour is what Living Wage gets in Memphis TN. It's not a negotiable number. It's fixed. That's awful high to me.

OK, now I understand where you are coming from. I was not aware of this mandatory "Living Wage," I was just saying living wage as in a wage someone could live on without assistance. Here, at least, it's below $14/hour. Maybe it's higher elsewhere.

I agree, it doesn't seem fair for a dishwasher to be paid the same as a degreed cook. I do think the bottom level should be raised, though. Yeah, it might raise prices but again, we are paying one way or another. The way it is now many of the costs are hidden.

The living wage requirement in Memphis is $10 with health insurance, $12 without. I'm thinkin' even in Memphis, ten bucks an hour isn't buying a lot of champagne and caviar...

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Living Wage literally means something that we might not all be aware of. On the surface of course it sounds great. However in truth which is why I do not support it it means pay unskilled laborers as much (or more) than a degreed pastry chef in most areas. As much as a degreed line cook. $12 to $14 an hour is what Living Wage gets in Memphis TN. It's not a negotiable number. It's fixed. That's awful high to me.

OK, now I understand where you are coming from. I was not aware of this mandatory "Living Wage," I was just saying living wage as in a wage someone could live on without assistance. Here, at least, it's below $14/hour. Maybe it's higher elsewhere.

I agree, it doesn't seem fair for a dishwasher to be paid the same as a degreed cook. I do think the bottom level should be raised, though. Yeah, it might raise prices but again, we are paying one way or another. The way it is now many of the costs are hidden.

The living wage requirement in Memphis is $10 with health insurance, $12 without. I'm thinkin' even in Memphis, ten bucks an hour isn't buying a lot of champagne and caviar...

Then they toned it down. I've heard/debated Rebekah Jordan before and she was singing in a much higher key when I first heard of this about two years ago. I was shocked.

Here's a quote from that same web page:

"What is a Living Wage for Memphis?" finds that in a family of four where both

parents work, each parent would need to earn at least $10.04 an hour to meet

their basic living expenses. A single parent with two children would need to

earn at least $15.64 an hour if working full-time. (University of Memphis,

Center for Research on Women)

Update on nephew--he was making just under $11 an hour with lotsa benies. He was washing the big ginormous pots at a military base somewhere in California, Camp Pendleton maybe. He is on disability now. He will get his own little studio with a kitchen in early March. This is all Living Wage stuff, government contracted work.

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