Wait staff, bartenders, hosts, bussers, dishwashers and cooks chose to work in the service industry because of the many opportunities it provides.
Ballot Initiative 77, the “District of Columbia Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2017,” threatens to change and hurt the industry.
The proponents of this measure want to abolish the tip credit structure, which has benefited restaurant workers greatly. It will ultimately result in the elimination of the tip system to be replaced by flat wage. What they fail to understand is that doing so will cut take-home pay to the point where many won’t be able to afford to live and work in DC.
Most tipped workers make much more than minimum wage. Raising the base wage to $15/hour would be a death sentence for many independently-owned restaurants, as 96 percent of DC restaurants are. It will lead to restaurant owners cutting shifts, hours and even closing their doors.