Proposed minimum wage increase should factor in tips

We’re fortunate to have a vibrant restaurant and bar scene in the Twin Cities. It’s made possible by wonderful customers, skilled staff and entrepreneurs willing to take risks to start businesses and enliven our communities.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of pressures on restaurants around Minnesota — higher food costs, increased transportation inputs, and customers still holding back on spending. Full service restaurants are also seeing increased competitions from concepts where customers order and pay for items at a counter.

Restaurants operators take our roles as job providers seriously. That’s why we’re concerned about proposals at the Minnesota Capitol to increase the minimum wage without factoring in income from tips.

A balanced proposal from the Minnesota Restaurant Association would create a new tipped employee minimum wage tier. If a tipped employee makes at least $12 per hour including tips, they would earn the current base minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. If they didn’t make $12 an hour during the pay period, they would earn the new minimum wage plus tips. The floor of $12 per hour including tips, is higher than any of the proposed minimum wage hikes at the Capitol.

A minimum wage increase that does not recognize tips as income in some form could cause restaurants to reduce employee hours, increase prices or hold off on investment or expansion. We don’t want to do that. Please ask legislators to support the MRA’s reasonable plan helps employees and restaurants succeed.

Rick Guntzel
Republic Seven Corners
Republic Calhoun Square