Graham Kilmer

Broken Bat Gets Rid of Tipping

Baseball-themed brewery hikes wages, tells customers tipping no longer expected.

By - Apr 4th, 2022 01:02 pm
Broken Bat Brewing beers. Image from the brewery.

Broken Bat Brewing beers. Image from the brewery.

Another Milwaukee hospitality business is eliminating tipping as a norm for its serving staff.

Broken Bat Brewing, 135 E. Pittsburgh Ave., announced Monday via social media that “We no longer expect a tip!”

The brewery is instead raising prices on its offerings by 18% and paying employees at least $15 an hour. “We are now able to pay everyone fairly, charge the same amount that customers would normally pay, and not expect additional funds from you, the paying customer, to cover the cost of living for our amazing staff!”

While tipping is no longer expected, it’s not forbidden at the brewery. Only, your tip wont be going entirely to the person serving you. Any tips will now be split evenly among the entire Broken Bat staff. “We want to make sure that all employees from ‘Grain to Glass’ feel appreciated.”

Broken Bat is the first brewery in Milwaukee to announce it’s moving to this method of compensation for its workers. In 2021, three well-known restaurants moved to a non-tipped compensation model for its servers. The hospitality organization Pie Inc. moved its three restaurants, Palomino, Honeypie and SmallPie, to a higher wage and eliminated the expectation of tipping. Pie Inc. also offers its employees health insurance, a 401(k) and free yoga classes.

Broken Bat Brewing was opened in 2017 by Tim Pauly and Dan McElwee. Their first brewhouse and taproom was in the Historic Third Ward at 231 E. Buffalo St. They relocated the brewery to Walker’s Point in 2020. The Third Ward brewery is currently home to Wizard Works Brewing.

The timing of the move unfortunately meant Broken Bat was opening its new brewery at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in Milwaukee. Though, like many breweries, restaurants and bars, Broken Bat started selling its beers curbside and over the phone.

The building in Walker’s Point, at 14,000 square feet, gave the brewery space to nearly quadruple its production and to install an indoor whiffle-ball field.

If it’s not clear from the name, the brewery is a baseball-themed business. Nearly every beer it produces is given a name inspired by ball-game phrases; others are baseball puns or more loosely allude to some aspect of the game. For example, there’s a cherry Hefeweizen called Harry Cherry (a play on the longtime baseball announcer Harry Caray), and a Czech-style Pilsner called Czech Swing.

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One thought on “Broken Bat Gets Rid of Tipping”

  1. sheistolerable says:

    Company Brewing puts a standard 20% service fee right on your check for dining in. I’m not sure if that applies to just having a drink at the bar. As a customer I MUCH prefer knowing the staff can always expect a fair wage for their hard work!

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