Waiters take on Emmer


“Craziness” is how a waiter at Minnesota Republican Gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer’s Town Hall meeting characterized Emmer’s proposal for a “tip penalty”. ;What Emmer calls a “tip credit” would allow employers to pay lower than minimum wage to employees who get tips.

And there’s more …. 


A waitress from Keys Restaurant reads back Minnesota GOP candidate for Governor Tom Emmer’s own words about waitress wages being responsible for increased menu prices at Minnesota restaurants. Tom Emmer responds.

Here’s the original Emmer statement:


Republican Candidate for Governor Tom Emmer says he was surprised to learn that waiters can earn more than $100,000 a year, a good portion of that from tips.

Emmer: Restaurant owners…I don’t know if you call them restraunteers or … but I’ve heard this from others that are running small businesses all around the metro area, and I haven’t talked to them as much outstate, just maybe Duluth and Moorhead, but smaller towns . I hear mostly here in the Twin Cities and I didn’t realize that it could be that great. Somebody could be taking home well over a hundred thousand dollars as a server.

Reporter: Isn’t that the free market at work? People reaping the benefits of hard work?

Emmer: You know Brian, the answer to that would be yes if you didn’t have a minimum wage law. Then you could say that it was the free market working. “Cause then they could hire employees at a living wage taking into account the tips that they’re taking home. But what we’ve done essence is set the floor as to what they must get paid, regardless of what they get to take home in tips. We love the people that are serving. But you know when you could kill the goose that lays the golden egg which is the owner of the business, they’re going to end up suffering as well. If these guys can’t continue to operate then they can’t continue to take advantage of the opportunity. So you’ve got to keep both in mind. And I would agree with you, it’s the free market only up until you start talking about the minimum wage law.

Reporter 2: Are you suggesting we repeal the minimum wage law?

Emmer: Well, I don’t know if you could do that. I mean we talked about that before.