Every day, you see a new story about a horrible restaurant charging its servers for credit card fees, or generally making Ebenezer Scrooge look like Mother Teresa. And while your gut might tell you to raise the pitchforks over a new brunch spot banning tips, this time it's actually a good thing. At Philly's forthcoming Girard Brasserie and Bruncherie, the management is outlawing tips but paying the staff about $13 an hour, plus health benefits and paid vacation days. Which is kind of amazing, and also kind of a game-changer.
Co-owners Cristian Mora and Brian Oliveira say they came up with the plan after working server positions themselves and experiencing too many slow nights and stingy customers firsthand. So, in an effort to "take care of the people that are going to be taking care of the guests", the guys are significantly upping the $2.13 minimum wage for waiters to an average of $13 an hour (it'll be consummate with experience) and offering four paid vacation days for every six months an employee works... regardless of whether they're part-time or full-time. Oh, and health care? They're covering 100% of the benefit costs.
While Mora and Oliveira obviously want to help out the little guys, they also think the system will give them a lower turnover rate in staff as well as employees with a serious commitment to the biz. They don't open until the end of the month, so we'll have to wait and see, but we imagine those Girard servers aren't going to just guess your drink order.
Kristin Hunt is a food/drink staff writer for Thrillist, and likes where these guys' heads are at. Follow her at @kristin_hunt.