Baristas Get $100 Million Tip

 In 1. David Scott Peters, Of Interest, Operations, The Numbers

Authored by David Scott Peters

At the end of March, a Superior Court judge ordered Starbucks to pay its baristas in California $100 million in back tips. Why? Because the shift supervisors were getting part of the tips and according to California state law, managers and supervisors are prohibited from sharing in tips.

Do you know your state laws that well? If you have restaurants in multiple states, are you sure you’re complying with each one correctly?

I’m sure this case will be appealed to a higher court and we’ll hear more in coming months. But it’s a great reminder to keep tipping where it belongs – with those who provide the service. It’s a demotivator to make those who worked for it to give it away to those who didn’t touch the table. And it’s flat wrong if you ask me. As a restaurant expert and one who specializes in systems, this is something I would advise you against.

Worried about your managers and supervisors? Evaluate the pay scale and see if it’s adequate for what’s required of them.

It’s part of the job as a manager not to be part of the tipping pool anymore. But the benefits are supposed to outweigh the loss in tip money. Do your supervisors and managers receive adequate perks, job growth, bonus opportunities and the like? Or are they wishing they’d remained in a server role?

If you want to minimize turnover, these are important questions to ask yourself and your managers.

Remember to keep smiling,
David Scott Peters

David Scott Peters is the founder of Smile Button Enterprises, LLC, an independent restaurant coaching and training company, and is known as the SMART Systems guy who can walk into any restaurant in the United Stated and find you $10,000 in undiscovered cash before he hits the back door… Guaranteed! Visit to learn more.

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