New TV Commercial Features Tipped Workers Concerned Over the Negative Impact of a Tipped Wage Hike

  • Publication Date: July 2014

  • Topics: Tipped Wage

Washington, D.C. – Today the Employment Policies Institute is announcing its new commercial airing in Washington, D.C. that highlights tipped employees’ concerns regarding a proposal currently before Congress to raise the tipped minimum wage by 232 percent. The tipped restaurant workers interviewed for the commercial argue this proposed wage hike will actually reduce opportunities for them and their co-workers.

The ad features three non-scripted tipped restaurant employees who report they already make between $20 and $30 an hour, confirming Census Bureau data that shows many tipped employees report earning an average of $13 an hour. The employees also argue that a raise in the tipped wage will result in fewer hours and lost jobs in the restaurant industry. The voiceover states, “A 232 percent wage hike is bad for customers and employees.”

View the new commercial here.

EPI is also promoting the results of two new Google Consumer Surveys, which find that both tipped employees and consumers would disapprove of a dramatic tipped wage hike that eliminated the tipping status quo in favor of higher meal costs. One poll asked 500 people, “Do you support eliminating the current restaurant tipping system in favor of a new system where meals are more expensive and you’re not expected to tip?” Of those polled, over 82 percent of consumers rejected paying higher prices.

The second poll asked, “If you work in a restaurant & earn tips, would you support a $15 minimum wage if it meant you could no longer receive those tips?” Of the roughly 5,000 who reported working in a restaurant and earning tips, nearly 70 percent rejected a $15 base wage that put their tips at risk.

“Congress should spend more time listening to the concerns of actual tipped employees over the noise of a handful of labor union-backed activists pushing for this counterproductive policy,” said Michael Saltsman, EPI’s research director. “Raising the tipped minimum wage is a solution in search of a problem. A mandated increase will only make these highly-paid tipped jobs more difficult to sustain.”