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Talking story with ‘Forked’ author Saru Jayaraman about why tipping in restaurants is unfair to food servers

There’s no way to say this delicately, so I’m just going to come out and say it: tipping food servers is wrong. It’s messed up, unfair and appalling. Of course you should tip your servers if you eat out, but it’s clear the whole system is rigged against those who try to work in the restaurant industry. It needs to end. Hawaii, though known nationally as a progressive place to live and work, is anything but when it comes to compensating restaurant workers properly.

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The Surprisingly Dark History of Tipping

According to Jayaraman, the notion that customer tips could make up wages paved the way for the tipped minimum wage. "hese industries could claim that they were hiring these workers when nobody else would and providing them the opportunity...

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Olive Garden Targeted in Minimum Wage, Animal Welfare Protests

In 2014, ROC released a report that found the company could pay all of its workers $15 per hour simply by redirecting $.10 of every $5 in sales — or 2 percent of sales  — toward employees' salaries.

But according to...

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A Bittersweet Day for Working Mothers Living Off Tips

As a mother I know the joy of motherhood, and the incredible stress that comes with trying to do the best for our kids. I can’t imagine trying to feed my two little ones on tips. We can and must do so much better by the millions of mothers nationwide, and the hundreds of thousands of moms in New York.

 

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Local restaurateurs weigh pros, cons of no tipping as owners elsewhere take the plunge

For example, by asserting that servers work for the restaurant, rather than the people sitting at its tables, owners can cut down on what Restaurant Opportunities Center United co-director Saru Jayaraman has described as “all kinds of nonmalicious but less than ideal practices, like giving free drinks to people, and basically doing things that hurt the bottom line.”

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Berkeley professor: ‘Food workers deserve a raise’

Adding that the restaurant industry is seeing its biggest labor shortage in U.S. history, Jayaraman said studies have shown that states that have mandated a higher wage tend to perform better economically than before companies raise wages.

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