lets discuss tipping

Hello, and thanks for showing up here to read this.

We have moved to a “gratuity-included” or “tipless” model here at rye.

We have prided ourselves with creating rye based upon European village taverns or small eateries; our food has been inspired by the cuisines of the little towns of France, Spain and Italy, we have attempted to make restaurant feel like them as well.

So now we have decided we will also embrace the tipping culture of Europe.

What that means for you, dear customer, is nothing much. We will be doing away with gratuities and paying our staff a larger wage (and better benefits) instead. We are rebuilding the menu with that in mind, so individual items may cost between 10% and 20% more than we had previously charged – which will pay the increased wages -but without the added tips, the overall value or total cost will remain the same to you.

What it means for our staff is stability: in most other service industries, the wage of the worker is fairly consistent – it is independent of the variability of the amount or difficulty of the work, day to day. It is mostly paid based on the time the worker spends at the job or task. Due to tipping practices, restaurants in the USA have not been that way for over a century now. In the restaurant industry, servers (and staff overall) are unsure of how much they will make day to day or even month to month, due to the unpredictable and sometimes whimsical tipping culture that is standard here -sometimes they will make a lot of money from a fairly easy/slow shift, but also they will make “sub-standard” tips on a normal amount of business. (Human nature being what it is, the thing that gets most remembered is often the bad tip days. That impacts mental health.) This leads to an uneasy relationship with customers.

It also can cause problems with employers and other staff members. In the most extreme cases (in other states, not Oregon) servers need only be paid $2.13/hour by their employers because the rest of their wage is directly paid by the customer via tips. This creates an environment where the incentives for the waitstaff are not aligned with the goals of the rest of the staff or the restaurant. The “Front of House vs Back of House” meme is no joke.

We feel that paying workers a fair wage is the responsibility of the employer, not the customer. And while no business can guarantee its survival (especially in these times), we believe that it can ensure its employees are treated fairly and paid appropriately, and these two things will greatly contribute to its success.

Please feel free to reach out to us at abetterbar@gmail.com if you would like more information or please speak with us in person at rye.

Thank you for time reading this and for visiting our village.