A Minneapolis restaurant, Broders Pasta Bar, is now adding an “equity” charge to all checks. Broders official statement regarding the new charge says that, “Studies have also shown that there is inequity and built-in bias in the way consumers give tips. In general, Black or Brown servers receive less tips than Caucasian servers. There is gender bias as well.”
The statement goes on to explain that the Benefits & Equity Charge goes to all of the Benders employees across the board to further equity because, “In restaurants, immigrants and people of color work mostly in the kitchens and have no access to gratuities to supplement their hourly wage.”
Broders explained that, “In the wake of racial injustice protests and the closures due to Covid, now is the time for Broders’ to reimagine its economics and provide fair pay across the company.” However, this 15% equity charge is not supposed to replace gratuity. If a tip is given, the restaurant explains, that will only be distributed to those who are interacting with the customer.
Broders is not the first restaurant to add some sort of equity charge to their customer’s tabs, but it may be the first in Minnesota. Another restaurant in North Carolina also adds a fee to the bill, but they call theirs the “Living Wage Fee.” The local pizza shop will be adding a 20% fee to help give the employees a “living wage.” The owner of Pizzeria Toro, Gray Brooks, says that he hopes this becomes a trend. He called it a “grassroots approach” to equity.
According to the Business Insider, Restaurants Unlimited, Inc., a franchise company, began adding a 1% “Living Wage Fee” to the bill in their restaurants in 2018.
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Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun | Star News Network and The College Fix. She graduated with a degree in Communications from the University of Northwestern-St. Paul. Send news tips to [email protected]