Aug 20, 2019

If you’re a fan of Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, then you’ll remember the infamous “Amy’s Baking Company” incident, the first and only time the celebrity chef fully gave up on a restaurant. Why were the owners so bad? Well, they were delusional, screamed at both their customers and Ramsay himself, and, worst of all, took away tips from their servers.

Yep. Every single bit.

I think the reason why people had such a volatile reaction to that (and not the screaming at clients and possible mafia connections? What a weird episode) is because we innately know that servers are breaking their backs for a minimum wage job, and the tips and/or service charge they receive helps them greatly. Take that away from them, and you’re serving them a huge injustice.

That said, would you believe that our Labor Code has a provision allowing an establishment’s management to get a cut of the service charge? Article 96 says that only 85 percent of the service charge will go to the staff while the rest will go to the management. Sure, while employees still get the larger percent, it personally doesn’t fully sit well for me.

Thankfully, President Rodrigo Duterte has just signed a revision of Article 96. Under the amendment, employees will be getting the full service charge, period. It also has a provision stating that the service charge employees will receive won’t be taken into account if in any event the minimum wage will be increased. This means that these employees will still be getting the increased wages and the service charge.

Many restaurant owners are ecstatic over the news. “I think that’s great news for the hospitality industry. I’m sure it will encourage better professionalism among the staff and promote quality service,” says chef J. Gamboa of Milky Way Cafe, Cirkulo, Azuthai, and Tsukiji.

Other restauranteurs also noted that the bill doesn’t apply to them because they already give the full service charge to their staff. Says chef Jordy Navarra of Toyo Eatery and Panaderya Toyo: “We’ve been doing that ever since we opened Toyo Eatery so the bill doesn’t really affect us. But we’re happy that it’s finally going to be officially implemented nationwide. The staff deserves it!”

Indeed, they do.

 

Featured photo courtesy of StockSnap from Pixabay

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