as we humans often do. But a slow drip may turn into a trickle, and a trickle, untended, can turn into a flood.
As is often the case, this newsletter feels like inadequate space to tackle the deluge of interconnected issues on our mind this week - from the apartheid in Israel and Palestine to the onslaught of contributions to @ratmagnet's simple prompt to share one's experiences of sexism in craft beer (so far there have been nearly 1,000 submissions including disparaging comments from customers, unfair / unequal treatment in the workplace, toxic work environments, and blatant sexual harassment and assault.) Yet we will continue to unpack the issues each week, from here to eternity, so bring sustenance.
Oppression in all its forms hurts everyone. And oppression often starts as a slow drip.
The slowest drips are the ones that hide in plain sight. They craft the culture that makes us all believe that what is 'normal' cannot or must not be harmful by virtue of the fact that it is omnipresent.
In 2020, we changed our job posting policy to reflect that we no longer post any jobs paying less than minimum wage (not the agricultural minimum wage, or the tipped minimum wage, which are even lower than the federal or state minimums).
In 2021 - starting June 1st, to be exact - we will no longer post any jobs that do not pay less than $10 / hour. And on January 1st, 2022, we will no longer post any jobs that pay less than $15 / hour, regardless of what the legal minimum wage is in the U.S. (if you are posting a job outside of the U.S., we'll look forward to learning more about living wages in your specific area).
So why are we making these changes? And more specifically, why will we not honor the tipped minimum wage?
The subtitle of this Eater article from Vince Dixon (nearly) says it all. The data is overwhelming: tipping encourages racism, sexism, harassment, and exploitation.
Furthermore, we've seen some restaurants temporarily move to a no tipping model, but later return to tipping. The culture has to change. The system has to change. Our policy changes are meant to support the much-needed systemic shift so that all small restaurants can operate in a landscape where no-tipping is the norm, rather than having to compete in a world where the subsidized price of food at tipped restaurants makes their offerings look overpriced.
In order for restaurants to not only provide a fair wage, but other protections that come from non-tipped work (such as paid sick leave, paid time off, health insurance, 401(k), and other benefits) - the price of dining out will have to go up. And we, as customers, have to acknowledge and account for that when we decide where to spend our dollars.
This interim period will be challenging and uncomfortable...but not impossible. (Kudos to one of our favorite restaurants for taking the plunge this past weekend - full disclosure, it's was started by Taylor's siblings-in-law).
We welcome your questions and feedback so that we can continue to research, raise questions, and build resources that will build the restaurant business back better.
Yours in food, justice, and food justice,
Dor + Tay
photo by Christine Han