The Daily Rail: Billionaire Owned Restaurant Adds Surcharge for Minimum Wage

Tuesday, August 22, 2017


Today's Specials: 



MARKETING: Six Mobile Marketing Strategies for Restaurants

In order to build a successful restaurant business, you need to be able to set yourself apart from the competition. Here are some creative mobile marketing strategies for restaurants to help you do just that.




Bolting Restaurants

Eight-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt is opening 15 Jamaican restaurants in the UK by 2022. The restaurants called Usain Bolt’s Tracks & Records opened its first location in Kingston, Jamaica in April 2011 and heavily portrays Bolt’s personality. The menu has everything from burgers to traditional Jamaican food.


Sheet Caking

It’s been an intense few weeks in the news and SNL has made it a top priority to make their interpretations. Last week’s Weekend Update featuring Tina Fey has generated many strong reactions, all while she’s indulging in sheet cake. Take a look at how Tina recommends handling neo-Nazis.

The Fight Against Hunger

Many parts of the world are suffering from a hunger crisis. Food safety and availability of calories per capita have tremendously increased over the last 50 years and this infographic shows just how many people worldwide have died due to famine on average per decade.

Infographic: The Fight Against Hunger | Statista



Why it matters to you: A top restaurant receives backlash after introducing a surcharge to offset the minimum wage.

As minimum wage becomes more of an unknown across the country, many establishments have begun taking the matter into their own hands. Some restaurants are being scrutinized by their approach to the controversial pay system by adding surcharges to a customer’s receipt. The Oceanaire, a high-end seafood restaurant with locations across the US, recently made news for tacking on a 3% “minimum wage surcharge” to its customers’ tabs due to “rising costs of doing business.” Written in a note at the bottom of all receipts, guests have accused the chain of making a political statement instead of simply raising the menu prices and feel that the chain is being misleading.  

Customers have declared the fee a “deceptive business practice,” and accused Oceanaire of “scapegoating innocent employees” who need to make a living. Another noteworthy aspect angering the public is that Oceanaire’s restaurant owner is what Forbes calls the world’s richest restaurateur; therefore, it felt that this surcharge was wrongly placed. On the other side of the spectrum, if billion dollar restauranteurs are feeling the sting of an increased minimum wage then other restaurants are soon to follow. For now, Oceanaire has removed their surcharge and will “explore more traditional means to address the industry’s rising costs.” The Oceanaire isn’t the first to introduce a surcharge, and most likely won’t be the last amid controversial minimum wage fluctuations.



Why it matters to you: D.C. restaurant discriminates against two men for requesting to share a dessert.

We’ve previously examined scenarios where customers haven’t tipped their servers because they didn’t agree with her sexual orientation. Similar stories have emerged out of cities including Washington D.C. and Rockford, IL where members of the LGBTQ community have been discriminated against based on their sexual orientation.

Most recently, a server at The Prime Rib in D.C. told two male guests that they couldn’t share a dessert after their meal because it “doesn’t go with the ambiance” at their restaurant. When the guests requested a dessert served with two spoons, the server said he would bring it in two separate dishes instead, stating that “It wouldn’t look right with two gentlemen eating out of the same dessert.”

The couple reportedly tipped 15% -- although they usually tip 20% — and left without addressing the manager. Other restaurants, even in liberal cities, have been publicly shamed for using homophobic and transphobic remarks, often directed at LGBTQ guests. As restaurant operators, it is our job to ensure that our guests are comfortable and feel safe while dining in our restaurant. Although our staff may act untraditionally at times, it is crucial to confirm that our employees are on the same page with treating all guests with respect. For The Prime Rib in D.C., the owner has stated that he will reach out to the gentlemen involved as well as speak with management. Even if the establishment tried to make amends, this could deter many other LGBTQ-friendly customers and dine elsewhere.