The Restaurateur Who Made Servers Pay Diner’s Credit-Card Fees Had a Sudden Change of Heart

It's on the house. Photo: Digital Vision/Getty Images

The St. Paul-based Blue Plate restaurant chain is backtracking on its pretty foul plan to deduct 2-ish percent of servers' tips to pay for customers' credit card merchant fees. The proprietors initially buried news of the policy change at the bottom of a memo that otherwise congratulated workers on their "well-deserved raise," and, not coincidentally, the surcharge was timed to Minnesota's recent and controversial minimum wage hike. Now there's been a sudden change of heart. "We have always listened to our guests and our community," said co-owner David Burley. The restaurant group is not only reabsorbing the fees, it's tossing in a raise to non-tipped employees too: $9.69 an hour, $1.69 more than the state's current minimum wage. All told, a costly management lesson, but perhaps a valuable long-term PR strategy. [Star Tribune, Earlier]