Capitalism doesn't mean paying slave wages for firms to exist... http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/06/12/paying-their-employees-a-living-wage-the-key-to-success-for-one-new-york-restaurant/ Paying Their Employees A Living Wage The Key To Success For One New York Restaurant Author: Nathaniel Downes June 12, 2013 2:55 am For decades, the wages for those who served our food has remained stagnant. Originally set in 1991 to $2.13, the minimum wage for tipped employees is at historical lows, and workers have had enough. But one restaurant in New York has tackled the problem head on and to much attention. Sushi Yasuda, a notable upscale restaurant on East 43rd Street, has chosen a different path. As you can see on their card receipts (top), their wait staff do not get tips but, instead, are paid wages above and beyond the minimum, bucking the trend so prevalent elsewhere in the industry. But how does it work for them? In an interview with The Price Hike, owner Scott Rosenberg had this to say: We felt that approach really didn’t make sense. We felt it was cumbersome and confusing. We just take tipping out of the equation In addition, with the tip removed, customers now feel free to enjoy more; Mr. Rosenberg mentioned that one customer commented that he will be ordering 20% more food now. By having a reasonable salary, with performance-based bonuses, Sushi Yasuda has gained a loyal employee base with low turnover. This is part of why the restaurant has consistently high ratings with the New York Times: It “sets the standard in New York for the pure expression of sushi culture.” High praise indeed from the world-famous newspaper in the world’s most competitive restaurant market! Adjusting for productivity, the minimum wage in 1960 would be $22 per hour today. This shows how far the wage for the average food server has fallen. In 2000, tips brought home an estimated $12 billion, which, divided over the estimated 2.3 million tipped food servers, means your average wait staff brings home $5,200 per year in tips. Combined with that $2.13 per hour, and your full-time wait staff will bring home under $10,000 per year on a full-time salary, far below the poverty level even for a single person supporting only themselves.