We are an industry of hospitality professionals committed to serve our community. We strive to bring joy into people's lives—one meal, one glass of wine, one dessert at a time. However, we believe the traditional restaurant compensation model is broken. It fails to provide the kind of stability and equality of pay that restaurant employees deserve.
We feel compelled to offer a different business model to our employees, our community, and the industry as a whole; one that ensures all workers receive fair and equitable pay in a transparent way.
There is currently a deep pay disparity between those working behind the scenes, in kitchens and dish rooms, and our front-of-house service staff, despite both teams being essential to the guest experience. This is largely a product of the common restaurant structure in the U.S.—a broken system that’s built on a low-overhead model, comprised of minimum wage kitchen employees and well-below minimum wage service staff. These employees are subject to the customary American tipping system that data has shown suffers from bias, sexism and discrimination. The pandemic has laid bare the vulnerabilities of this system.
At our restaurants, we offer all of our hourly team members between $17 and $22 an hour, and work to offer them sufficient hours of work per week to earn a living wage. We cover 50% of health, dental and vision insurance premiums for our hourly team members after 90 days of employment and 100% of those premiums for our managers after 30 days. We believe good pay and an open dialogue leads to a stronger, happier team, and ultimately, a better experience for you as a guest.
To help with these increased payroll expenses, we have added a 22% service charge to all dine-in, take-out, events and delivery orders, instead of charging an automatic gratuity on the bill or manipulating menu prices. This way the 22% goes directly to payroll and benefits for our team—100% of it. We aim to increase benefits as the business becomes more stable, once we are able to get to the other side of this pandemic. Based on our experience and research, we think this is the best way to help bring positive change to the hospitality industry.
Should you tip too? There is no need to leave a tip, but if you do, we will split it evenly among the hourly team members working during that shift. Our managers never receive any portion of the tips left for the hourly team.
We will continue to seek new and innovative ways of operating restaurants that create a better life for employees and a better community for our neighbors and guests.
Thank you for supporting us in this journey.
Hollis Wells Silverman
Founder, Eastern Point Collective