Tip Pooling Practices and Quality of Life for Back of the House Restaurant Employees
MetadataShow full item record
In Washington, tip pooling practices have been used to even out pay disparities between front of the house (FOH) staff, whose earnings are higher due to tips and back of the house (BOH) employees, such as cooks and dishwashers whose earnings rely solely on their hourly wages. As minimum wage increases so does the cost of paying back of the house employees. Therefore, many restaurant owners have removed tipping in lieu of a surcharge or price increases which then can be legally used to compensate for the higher wages for BOH employees. Further, in Washington, where the minimum wage is reaching $13.50 per hour (in Seattle $15.00), the use of a surcharge allows employers to compensate at their purview which still leaves disparities in pay between FOH and BOH employees. This is further exasperated by new tip pooling regulations which now exclude BOH employees from participating in all tip sharing practices. This study examines how the loss of participation in a tip pool has affected income, stress and job morale for Washington’s BOH restaurant employees. Preliminary results show that the loss of compensation provided by tip pools has had a negative impact on income.
- MA in Policy Studies