Two Minnesota restaurateurs plan to start charging their servers every time a customer uses a credit card. According to the Star Tribune, the owners of Blue Plate Co. — which owns eight restaurants in the Twin Cities — will take the credit card fee (which is around two percent) out of each server's tips. The restaurateurs say they are doing this to offset the state's recently implemented $.75 wage increase for tipped employees and the upcoming health care mandate requiring them to provide employees with coverage.
Blue Plate Co.'s employees are angry, especially considering the method in which the charge was introduced. They were given a memo that read: "Today you are getting a raise! … It is a well deserved raise. We know that you work hard, every shift, every meal, every day. When this raise shows up in your paycheck, we want it to be visible in the warm welcome and bright smile you bring to our guests." The memo then went on to explain the credit card fee. One server tells the Star Tribune: "It's their choice to accept credit cards, and the customers' choice to pay with them, it's not up to me" adding that the fees "are simply the cost of doing business."
Another Minnesota restaurant recently made headlines regarding its way of combating the wage increase. Oasis Cafe added a "minimum wage fee" of $.35 to each check to help offset the costs. The restaurant garnered plenty of backlash on Facebook with commenters swearing to never eat at the restaurant again.