Tip Pooling

Turnover in restaurant staff is a popular topic.  Training dollars go down the drain when a cook or dishwasher moves on and the “help wanted” sign goes in the window.  Fortunately, minimum wage restaurant workers got some consideration from the federal government recently.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act allows employers to establish tip pooling arrangements between “front of the house” and “back of the house” staff, such as cooks and dishwashers.  The recently passed bill vacated the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division’s 2011 regulations that barred tip pooling when employers pay tipped employees at least the full federal minimum wage.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has issued a Field Assistance Bulletin to explain the enforcement of tip credit rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  Access it here: http://www.dol.gov/whd.

There are many ways a restaurant can divvy up tips but there are rules about how they can be collected and allocated by shift and job code.  Be sure your tip pooling protocol matches the WHD’s guidelines to avoid paying damages and civil monetary penalties.

Once the tip pooling protocol is in place, collecting and tracking it using your Point of Sale system can get complicated.  Macro Management Services has experience in setting up, analyzing and distributing pooled tips.  Email us at info@macromgt.com for more information.


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