The real question is – if quality dishwashing and sous chef work is as important to the customer experience as the server interaction, how does the total amount paid by the customer to server, whether categorized as meal price or tips get distributed to the employees?
The answer, according to some restaurant owners, is tip sharing. Restaurants also benefited from the cash flow, by waiting to distribute the tips for a few weeks.
Many servers resent tip sharing and many others state that the math often doesn’t add up. That is, many waitresses accuse restaurant owners of stealing their tips. This view is widespread among servers. Ask them, when they are not at work.
The Obama Administration Department of Labor limited tip sharing, partly because they did not trust restaurant owners and partly because they wanted those owners to feel pressure to increase wages to dishwashers. Many restaurant owners failed to comply with the new rule.
Not surprisingly, the Trump Administration proposes to undo the regulation.
This is the front lines of US labor policy, and it affects an enormous number of workers.
If your personal world does not include restaurant owners, dishwashers and servers except as a customer, then you should still pay attention. It is a big piece of the economy, and affects the lives of many.
Read more about the proposed tip sharing, New York Times, “Labor Plan Could Let the Boss Pocket the Tip”, Feb. 4, 2018