We are fully responsible for our coworkers’ wages, so tipping is 100% optional at Switchyard.
No really, you don’t have to tip! We know it feels odd, but it’s okay! Switchyard believes businesses should be responsible for their workers’ wages, not the whim of the customer, so regardless if everyone tips or if NO ONE tips, it’s our responsibility to ensure our team is paid a liveable wage.
Employees deserve a living wage they can count on, so wages for all Switchyard coworkers have a guaranteed wage of at least $16.25/hour. In August of 2021, we made the decision to convert to a 100% tip-free culture in the taproom. What does that look like in real life? Well, it’s pretty simple. Customers do not have to tip if they don’t want to. We never expect a tip, but if a customer feels compelled to express their appreciation in the form of a tip, our non-management co-workers split those tips based on the number of work hours every two weeks.
It also means that our coworkers are being fairly compensated for “side work” such as bussing tables, cleaning up, setting up or tearing down for events, working an extra shift on the packaging line, etc that aren’t exactly “tipped” work. This allows all of our coworkers to be able to afford to work weekdays, opening shifts, and slow days, because let’s face it – not every day is a busy Friday night, but we still need great folks to provide an awesome experience to our customers on slower shifts!
Did you know that in the State of Indiana, the tipped-worker minimum wage is $2.13/hour.
Last changed in 2008, when it was raised by $0.70, the minimum wage in the State of Indiana is $7.25/hr. We believe that employees should not be dependent on the generosity of others to make a living.
We also believe in providing more than financial security, so we provide all coworkers with free urgent care and mental health visits, among other benefits like unlimited, paid vacation for full-time coworkers, one month of paid parental leave, front-loaded PTO for part-time coworkers, and VPTO (Volunteer Paid Time Off) opportunities for part-time coworkers that volunteer in our community.
But we have other reasons for being anti-tipping/gratuities/service charges:
- Tipping often means that the people who serve products end up making more than the ones who create them, and we think that disparity is wrong.
- Tipping has a classist, racist history. Tipping was an aristocratic custom that did not take hold in the United States until slavery was abolished. Employers didn’t like having to pay wages to newly freed African Americans, so tipping became their only source of income.
- Tipping is super sexist: 70% of all tipped workers are women, who are forced to live on tips and compelled to tolerate inappropriate behavior to make a living; 37% of all sexual harassment claims come from restaurants.
- Customers don’t like having to tip. Tipping feels awkward and compulsory. Doing math when the bill arrives is a pain. We don’t like having to tip, so why would we make our customers do it?
- Tips do not fix poor service. If someone has a bad experience at Switchyard, that is the company’s fault, not the server’s. A tip is a very inefficient way of communicating a problem to the people who can actually do something about it. Tell us, don’t punish someone’s salary.
- Tipping fosters competition between co-workers for the best shifts and sections, instead of cooperation and teamwork.
- Studies have shown, tips do not ensure good service. Do you tip your doctor or banker? People in other professions perform their jobs well without being tipped by customers. Why is this industry any different? We know people are not motivated by money to do their job well, they simply take pride in their work. Believing a tip ensures better service is dehumanizing: it makes the server a lower-class person. We feel it is just icky.
- If you really want to show your appreciation for our beer and service, bring your glass back up to the counter when you are done, tell your friends what a good time you had, leave us a review on Yelp, Trip Advisor, or Google Reviews, follow @SwitchyardBrewing on any social media platform, or — and we know this sounds flippant — just tell us what you liked. It really does make us feel good in a way a tip never will, but if you feel super compelled to still give our team a tip, the option will be there, because we know, some habits are hard to break.