“Where should we eat tomorrow?” my wife asked me excitedly as we sat on our deck Friday evening.
She had locked down a babysitter for Saturday night, and we were both eager for our first dinner date alone together in months.
“Broders’,” I answered without hesitation.
Located in southwest Minneapolis, Broders Pasta Bar is a local gem. It has a great outdoor patio and the best Italian cuisine in the Twin Cities. We had not eaten there since the pandemic began.
My wife nodded and started to make a reservation on her phone. Then her jaw dropped.
“You’re not going to like this,” she said.
An Equity Charge?
She was right.
On its website, Broders’ has a notice to customers notifying them of a new 15 percent “benefits and equity” charge they’ve instituted. They justify the charge, first, by explaining that “many states have allowed reduced minimum wages for service staff in the form of a tip credit.”
The restaurant’s second justification is that many tippers are racist and sexist, according to uncited research.
“Studies have also shown that there is inequity and built-in bias in the way consumers give tips,” the statement reads. “In general, Black or Brown servers receive less tips than Caucasian servers. There is gender bias as well.”
The final part of the statement says the new policy stems from wider racial injustice and is not a substitute for gratuity.