Fact: Tipped employees are overwhelming opposed to eliminating the tip credit. After a poorly-understood ROC-backed ballot measure to eliminate the tip credit passed in Maine, thousands of tipped employees organized to save it. They were successful in persuading a bipartisan group of legislators to support tip credit restoration. Currently in New York, an even-larger movement of tipped employees —a Facebook group has more than 20,000 members, while a change.org petition has more than 10,000 signers — has rallied in support of the state’s tip credit. And in the District of Columbia, a “massive majority” of the city’s restaurant servers and bartenders have rallied against a proposal to phase out the District’s tip credit.
Proponents of eliminating the tip credit have pointed to alternative no-tipping payment systems, such as the “gratuity-included” system popularized by New York restaurateur Danny Meyer. However, Meyer’s staff wasn’t nearly as supportive of this approach; Meyer admitted that he lost up to 40 percent of his staff after making this change. A survey of hundreds of restaurant employees found that 97 percent preferred a base wage and tips to a no-tipping alternative.