This past December 1, 2019, we amended our business model in order to be able to more fairly pay our kitchen staff in relation to the rest of our team. In our industry, there is a large disparity between service staff and kitchen staff compensation. Cosmopolitan is taking action on behalf of our hard working kitchen team so that we can stand up for our business’s most valuable asset…it’s employees.
We are publishing this news because we would like to:
- Be transparent about this change.
- Explain why we are doing it, and why we feel it is so important to us and our industry.
- Ask for your support as we implement a new approach.
In our restaurant, tipped service staff members generally make 1.5 to 2 times the income of a non tipped kitchen employee. This is a large gap, especially in destination markets such as ours where the cost of living is the highest in the country and housing is scarce. The fundamental issue underlying this widening gap is that tipped employees are tied to top-line revenue increases and minimum wage increases, whereas kitchen employees are solely tied to bottom line results.
It is our belief that in order to correct this disparity, we need to connect (at least a small portion) of their compensation to top line revenue.
We have implemented a 3% Kitchen Livable Wage Surcharge to your bill. 100% of the surcharge will be divided amongst the hourly kitchen staff, based on the number of hours worked. We expect that the most common question will be “Why don’t you just raise your menu prices?” Our response is that yes, that is essentially what we are doing albeit in a way that specifically aims to close the wage gap between kitchen staff and service staff.
We don’t want to sacrifice hospitality in order to serve our community which we love. We believe this is a fair, effective, and sustainable approach.
We know that by making the compensation more equitable, we are cultivating a team of employees that feel valued and respected. We always try to support our purveyors, our community, and most importantly our people. We trust that this is part of what you love about us, and this furthers those values.