Answers That Count: Is Tipping Dead? Switch to This!

The topic of how to manage the $15 minimum wage increase was the headliner at the June Board Meeting of the FRLA. Carol Dover, CEO of FRLA, kicks off the session with a reminder of the narrow margin that Amendment 2 was passed in November 2020. Now is the time for action to stop the slide down the slippery slope of regulations and cost increases. In this session, the experts are employment attorney, Kevin Johnson, Mike Vinik with BJ’s Restaurants and Chad Mackay, CEO of Fire & Vine Hospitality. Chad’s group of restaurants are located in the Washington and Oregon where the push for $15 minimum wage began over 5 years ago. At that time, he implemented a commission base compensation plan for servers and bartenders while charging customers a service charge. Chad discusses the success of the plan along with the pros and cons of it. Kevin Johnson provides an outline of the legal hurdles to classify employees as commissioned employees and the exclusion for paying overtime premium. Mike Vinik discusses how BJ’s is managing the wage increases in over 25 States. They are using a variety of tools, including technology, menu changes and product usage.



Answers That Count: How to use Technology to Attract Employees

Dan Murdoch an executive with Harri ( a technology solutions provider for the hospitality industry. Dan provides solutions to restaurants across the entire USA including QSRs and FSRs. He has seen the struggles challenging the industry from wage increase, employee shortage, COVID and just the normal challenges of managing a restaurant. When he talks about the role technology plays, he speaks from experience. He has seen how it can be a difference maker in a businesses’ success or failure. Dan provides great insight in this Podcast about the technology solutions that have been successful, the hot technology for today and the outlook for technology focus in the future. Check out this Podcast for the Nuggets of Knowledge to help your decision making about adapting to challenges of wage and cost increases. With the rising wages caused by the $15/hour minimum wage push and the current short supply of employees, attracting and keeping employees, in this economy is a challenge. In this Podcast, we discuss the importance of employees and how to attract and retain the best ones.



Answers That Count: Restaurants Plan Incentives Ahead of $15 Minimum Wage Increases

Federal law requires employees earn at least the federal minimum wage, or the higher state or local number in 28 states and 55 municipalities. If the combination of the base wage and earned tips does not total the required minimum wage, the employer must pay the tipped employee more to make up the difference. Sunil Dharod, who owns 124 restaurants across four states, including Applebee’s locations, Sonic Drive-In stores and the Roy’s fusion chain, said he expected higher wages would lead to menu price increases and reduced service. In this podcast, Professor Joe Calhoun talks about how incentives drive behavior. He relates incentives of wait staff to make more money. Good service leads to better tips. So, servers are incentivized to provide great service to customers. The tip model of compensation and the commission model of compensation for servers and bartenders is a way to drive better customer service, higher sales and higher compensation to the servers and bartenders. READ MORE HERE!



Answers That Count: What $15 Min Wage Hikes Mean to Restaurants

First in a series of podcasts describing changes restaurants should consider when adjusting to the cost increases from the rising minimum wage in Florida. Restaurateur and FRLA member John Horne talks about positive experience he has had going from counter service and no tipped wages to full-service and tipped compensation model for his wait staff. Check out this episode to learn about what you should consider when adapting to the minimum wage increases.

A veteran of Manatee County’s hospitality industry for nearly 40 years, John Horne began his career working summers at Fast Eddie’s Place while completing his Business Degree at Clemson University. He opened his own restaurant, Anna Maria Oyster Bar, on the City Pier in Anna Maria, FL in 1995. Four more restaurants followed and the AMOBs have become a well-known place to enjoy fresh, delicious seafood at a great value, served by a team of wonderful staff in a fun, family-friendly atmosphere.