The owner of the Eagle Street Grill told a Star Tribune columnist on Tuesday that none of his servers make $100,000 a year. Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer used an example of Eagle Street servers making that kind of money as a reason to institute a “tip credit” in Minnesota, which would lower servers’ minimum wage pay. Eagle Street owner Joe Kasel said, “No way, shape or form did I [tell Emmer] anyone made $100,000.”
“With the tips that they get to take home, they are some people earning over $100,000 a year,” Emmer said of servers at the restaurant Monday.
From the column by John Tevlin:
“I don’t want people thinking we have people making $100,000 a year here, because we don’t,” said Kasel, who had to call his 29 employees that morning to prevent a mutiny. “No way, shape or form did I [tell Emmer] anyone made $100,000.”
Kasel said rather he told Emmer that a couple of his employees do well, and that “If all the pieces fell in the right place” they could make $100,000. But not a server, he said.
“But don’t put any numbers in your story,” said Kasel. “I don’t even make that much.”
Though Kasel said Emmer was misquoted, he didn’t disagree with implementing lowered minimum wage.
Horner agrees with Emmer on server pay — sort of
by Andy Birkey
Independence Party candidate Tom Horner told MinnPost on Wednesday that he agreed that a tip credit would be “part of the solution” in the hospitality industry. GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer has been taking flack from unions and DFLers for saying that the minimum wage for tip-earners should be lowered – and for professing that some waters and bartenders make “over $100,000 a year.” Horner said he doesn’t agree with Emmer’s tone.
“Rep. Emmer’s insensitivity to the many hospitality workers who are struggling to earn a decent living is how ideological politics are dividing Minnesotans,” Horner told Minnpost’s David Brauer. “Tip credit is part of the solution needed to sustain jobs in the hospitality industry, but it shouldn’t be a rationale to pay less-than-minimum-wages.”
Horner added, “You have to strike a balance between [owners] operating at razor-thin margins and workers operating at the bottom of the pay scale. There’s potentially a middle ground.”