Tipping is always such a hot topic. People hate doing it, but servers depend on tips to offset their $2.19 per hour pay.
There is one restaurant in San Francisco that is changing the whole “dining out” climate, and I wish I could take a road trip to go give them my business!
Zazie, a French restaurant in San Francisco, is leading the way with treating their employees like the valued members of the company they are.
Employees actually get paid family leave, health and dental insurance, and a 401(k) with employer match — UNHEARD of in the food industry!
Not only do they get awesome benefits, but the restaurant has a ‘No Tip’ policy, and this has really created loyal employees, and there’s no fighting for “good tables” or tip sharing among employees.
[The] staff get extra money through profit sharing — Servers get 12% of their sales, and 12% of the restaurant’s total sales are shared between back-of-house staff.Megan Cornelius, co-owner of Zazie
As you can imagine, from a server’s point of view, working here is just about goal status.
During the pandemic shutdowns, Zazie only lost ONE employee, and that was because the person changed careers. They aren’t finding themselves in the same position that so many other establishments are facing — scampering to replace half a staff that has decided to up and quit. They are already set to go.
Get this — Zazie actually paid staff for the entire first month it was closed during the pandemic. Not only that, they maintained employee health and dental insurance while staff was receiving unemployment benefits. *Wide Eye Emoji*
It doesn’t stop there. The restaurant had to close for repairs in January, which lasted a couple weeks. During this time, they still paid the employees!! What?!?
The restaurant has around 40 employees, roughly half of which have been at Zazie for at least 10 years.Business Insider
Megan Cornelius, the co-owner of Zazie, was a server before she moved into ownership. So, she really knows how tough it is to exist as part of the wait staff. She wanted to make SURE her people were taken care of — and it has really paid off!
Tipping is a very archaic way of people making their money — It’s just nice to not have tap dance for money.Megan Cornelius, co-owner of Zazie
Does the ‘No Tip’ policy deter the servers from giving quality service? Not at all! They like the way they are treated by the company, and they want to give great service, so the guests will keep coming in the door. Job security is a better motivator than trying to rely on tips.
Now, there is still the occasional party who tips. The server IS allowed to keep the tip, but most of the time, they end up “sharing the wealth” with other staff members. Everyone works together!
Zazie pays its staff the city’s minimum wage, which is $16.32 per hour. Cornelius said that servers, kitchen staff, and dishwashers typically make $1,000 or more a week from wages and profit shares, depending on how busy the restaurant is.Business Insider
How do I get a job here, right?!? This would have been a DREAM when I was in college!
Hopefully this is only the beginning, and many other businesses take notice and follow suit.
Let me be the first of many to applaud Zazie, and the way they treat their staff. This is a place that I hope stays in business for a long time to come.