Fox 21 News stopped by today to follow up on their story from 19 months ago about the Delta Diner eliminating tipping. It made me think it might be time to update everyone on how it is going.
First, we are very pleased with the direction our new employee compensation model is taking us. Removing tipping from our business model was the right move and has positively impacted the way we do business.
- Compensation is now equitable for all staff regardless of where in the house you work. All positions in our operation are critical and we need individuals that are dedicated to taking a professional approach to their work. All positions in our operation cross the “tip line” a hundred times a day in an effort to provide the best experience possible to our target audience. Having a significant part of the wage pool inaccessible to part of the team based on arbitrary State “tip” rules was not acceptable. Now, all adults start at a base wage of $15/hr and students at $10/hr. Great opportunities for advancement exist beyond the base. And while there are primary responsibilities for each position, all staff members are responsible for team performance across duties. It works, and it supports our culture.
- We have experienced an increased opportunity to recruit, train, and retain excellent staff because we offer a team-oriented, professional work environment that values the contribution our staff puts forth every day. We need great people working at the Delta Diner and that should be reflected in every aspect of our relationship with staff, including compensation. It works, and it supports our culture.
There are many other significant ways our new approach has had a very positive impact on our business. We have taken a very specific approach that works for our model. This approach is not universally doable. And while our 20% price increase does not fully cover our significant rise in labor costs to date, we are making an investment in the people who are helping us grow a very special business model, and that will pay off on all levels over the long term.
Thank you to our dedicated customers for the wonderful support you have expressed regarding this issue. It is much appreciated and we look forward to seeing you in Delta!