Proponents of a 232 percent increase in the tipped minimum wage claim to have employees’ best interests in mind. But what if employees don’t want the “change” they’re offering?
A new television commercial features three restaurant servers from the Washington, DC, metropolitan area who oppose a dramatic tipped wage hike. All three earn more than $20 an hour in tips on average–and all three are concerned that a tipped wage hike could reduce opportunities in an industry they enjoy working in.
These three employees aren’t isolated in their opinions: In a recent Google Consumer Survey of 5,000 people who reported working in a restaurant and earning tip income, nearly 70 percent reported that they’d oppose even a $15 minimum wage if it upset the tipping status quo.
It’s not just the employees who oppose these changes–customers dislike them, too. We used Google Consumer Survey to ask 500 people if they’d support a new compensation system at restaurants where their meal was more expensive but they weren’t expected to tip. (This is one of a few likely consequences should the tipped wage be increased.) Over 80 percent said they preferred the status quo.
To recap: Employees don’t want the change or need the change, and neither do customers. Why are we talking about this again?