Honeypie, Palomino Move From Tipped to ‘Fair’ Wages
Pie Incorporated adopts One Fair Wage pay scale.
With a nationwide service industry labor shortage afoot, Pie Incorporated CEO Valeri Lucks believes she has found a way to improve morale and recruit more workers.
The organization, which operates Palomino, Honeypie and SmallPie, stopped using the tipped minimum wage, $2.33 per hour in Wisconsin, starting in March 2020 in favor of adopting the “One Fair Wage” standard.
“No one wants to return to hard work for small pay and poor treatment,” said Lucks in a press release announcing the pay change. “We have had few problems finding talented people that want to work for us. We work hard to be a place people want to work.”
One Fair Wage is a national coalition calling for the end of what it calls “subminimum wages” in restaurants, salons, car washes and other low-wage environments. The organization is backing a national effort to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour and eliminate the federal minimum wage for tipped workers of $2.13.
The practice doesn’t mean an end to tipping in Pie Incorporated’s restaurants. Tips are now allocated via a “fair, non-discriminatory” tip pool instead of collected by individual servers.
“This is a move that we had been contemplating for a while and when our business model shifted during the pandemic we had the opportunity to execute these changes,” said Lucks.
Lucks closed her three restaurants to in-person, indoor service and offered only carryout and outdoor dining while the city’s health order was in effect.
In addition to the fair wage pay scale, the company offers health insurance, free membership to yoga classes, set schedules and a 401(k) retirement plan with company match.
While changing pay scales, the Bay View-centric restaurant group has also changed restaurant locations.
In recent months, Honeypie operated out of Palomino’s kitchen as the restaurant moved between spaces on S. Kinnickinnic Ave. A grand opening celebration for Honeypie’s new location, 2569 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., will be held on June 25th starting at 5 p.m.
A representative of Pie Incorporated did not respond to a request for the restaurant group’s specific minimum wage by the time of the publication.
If you think stories like this are important, become a member of Urban Milwaukee and help support real, independent journalism. Plus you get some cool added benefits, all detailed here.