Rage As Restaurant Slashes Servers' $15 Wages As Their Tips Are 'Too High'

A salad bar has sparked outrage online after a popular online post showed an alleged message sent to servers, explaining that their wage is set to be decreased as they are earning more than expected in tips.

The mom of a worker at the restaurant shared the message to Subreddit "Anti Work" where users head to share their issues with the working world. She explained that her daughter works in the front-end of a "cafeteria-style" restaurant for $15 per hour. Now, she said, they're cutting her wages after finding out that "people in this neighborhood are good tippers" meaning tips, which are split evenly among workers, are "too high" and make their take-home pay higher than managers.

In the message, workers were addressed and told exactly why they have a lower hourly pay on their next paycheck.

"Team, as many of you know, the company started paying out tips a few weeks ago, but they didn't see that the tips that were generated in certain markets would surpass the amount or come close to the amount that new hired managers make without the benefits that are offered to them," read the message.

"In our location, we generate enough tips certain weeks that are close to an extra $5 an hour and sometimes more, and this is not sustainable.

"Effective immediately, your pay scale will be adjusted $2 and in some cases $1 to bring back in balance the manager and crew compensation rates. The company will also ensure that you do not at any point fall below your current rate if the tips are not generated to equal your current rate.

"Please get with a manager and they will let you know what that is. I do not agree 100 percent with the move but I do understand why the company has chosen to make this move."

According to the message, the restaurant is heading towards a system which is far more similar to the U.S. tip credit system that many hospitality employers use and sees the server's wage mainly consist of high tips and low hourly pay. Restaurants are required to pay a minimum "cash wage" which is often extremely low, with the expectation that they will earn enough in tips to take them over the federal or state minimum wage. If they don't, the restaurant will top up their pay to the minimum wage.

Creating pay based on tips earned however is controversial, with the tip based pay stem having just as many critics as it does supporters.

The message in the Reddit post garnered a similar response, with floods of messages of anger at the change.

"What's not sustainable is taking from the lowest paid workers to give raises to the higher ups," wrote one user.

"First you build a business model around underpaying your workers and having customers make up for it, then you have the audacity to complain when the customers pay too much and call it not sustainable? How is someone else paying your workers not sustainable from your perspective?" added another.

"It isn't sustainable because the managers will quit when they figure out the front-end grunts are making more than they are," noted a user.

"I thought it was standard and well-known that servers and bartenders generally make more than managers, excluding the general manager maybe. The managers deal with it because they know the alternative is to go serve themselves and they don't want to because it is legit hard work and they would rather have weekends and holidays off," said another Reddit user.

Cash on table
Stock image of cash. A salad bar has sparked outrage after a popular online post showed an alleged message sent to servers, explaining that their wage is set to be decreased as they are earning more than expected in tips. Getty Images