Today we’ve got an episode about gratuity-free restaurants.
On two opposite corners of the US, two neighborhood restaurants are currently thriving on a gratuity-free, profit-sharing model. In this episode, we’ll hear all about what it’s like to work at Juliet, in Somerville, MA, and at barcito, in Los Angeles. We’ll dive into the challenges of implementing this model, as well as the joys of gratuity-free work, including stable income and benefits like health insurance, the motivation of profit-sharing, and a smaller front and back of house divide.
Our guests this week:
Andrea Borgen is the owner of barcito, a bar and restaurant in LA that has been gratuity-free for three years. She made waves when her restaurant made the switch, and then last year, she posted an article on Medium (linked below) about everything she’s learned, the challenges she faced, and why she’s not giving up.
Katie Rosengren is a general manager at Juliet, a gratuity-free restaurant in Somerville, MA, just outside of Boston. In her 13 years in the industry, she’s worked for tips and worked without them, and she is a passionate advocate for change in the restaurant world.
Lauren Leland is a bartender at barcito. She worked in bars and restaurants in New York City before moving to LA.
Sam Mangino has been a server at Juliet for two years. She started at Juliet when she was in college, and now works there full-time.
Amanda McNamara worked front of house in three different restaurants for five years, largely living off of tips, and is now a content marketing manager at Toast, where she writes and reads about the restaurant industry all day long.
Gabrielle Grant started in the restaurant industry as a clam-shucker, and in ten years, she worked almost every job in the restaurant industry, front and back of house. She’s lived off of tips for much of her career, and is wary of the gratuity-free model.
Links, Studies, Further Reading
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[Staff Series #1] Irene Li Constantly Trains Her Staff, and They Stick Around
[Staff Series #2] How Ciro Fodera is Breaking Down the Front- and Back-of-House Divide
[Staff Series #3] Erin Wade on Creating a Safe, Inclusive Restaurant Work Environment (S2E2 Rebroadcast)
[Staff Series #4] When Hiring, Steven Darwin Goes With His Gut
[Staff Series #5] How Leslie Ciccone Retains Staff at (swah-rey) with Constant Kindness
[Staff Series #6] Logan Hostettler Uses Cross-Training and Communication to Keep Staff Happy
[Staff Series #7] Ryan Egozi Hires for Team Culture First (S2E6 Rebroadcast)
TRAILER: The Garnish Staff Series
Eric Cacciatore of Restaurant Unstoppable [S2E9]
Joanne Chang, Charles Bililies, and Emiliana Puyana on Funding a Restaurant [S2E8]
Parenthood in Restaurants [S2E7]
Restaurant Architect Justin Alpert on Accessibility and Hospitality [S2E5]
Addiction in the Restaurant Industry [S2E3]
Danny Meyer and the Value of Emotional Intelligence in Restaurants [S2E1]
Restaurant Trends from NYC [S1E12]
Eric Papachristos of Porto, Trade, & Saloniki [S1E11]
Michael Farid of Spyce on Robots in Restaurants [S1E10]
Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli of Alcove [S1E9]
Kyle Anderson of Rappahannock Oyster Bar on Seafood & Charleston [S1E8]
Code and preview