Why are we choosing an 18% Administrative Fee in lieu of gratuity?
Due to antiquated Massachusetts state laws regarding tipping and restaurant labor, meaningful wage disparities exist between our tipped and non-tipped employees. At Lookout Farm, we aim to pay our staff fair and stable wages, provide health, dental, and retirement benefits. This philosophy extends to all our team members who make your Lookout Farm experience possible, including our hosts, servers, kitchen staff, cleaners, orchard workers, maintenance staff and other associates.
How do we use the fees?
We will use the 18% fee to more evenly distribute and provide stable wages across Lookout Farm. No gratuities are required. If you choose to leave a gratuity it will be treated as traditional tip in accordance with Massachusetts state laws. This administrative fee does not represent a tip or service charge for wait staff employees, service employees, or service bartenders.
Why don't we just raise our prices?
We could raise our prices evenly across all our menu items in attempts to achieve the same goal. However, that might still leave the expectation to tip, costing you the customer more and requiring us to share your support with only servers and waitstaff, thus continuing the wage disparity between tipped and non-tipped employees. Our administrative fee gives us the ability to provide stable and fair wages to our staff.
We are happy to chat about why we believe this model is necessary and how it can positively impact our organization and the industry overall.