“Tip the Kitchen” initiative brings in an additional $ 20,000 to staff in just 3 weeks

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NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WKRN) – Church & Union sizzle is rare for most restaurants and staff say “well done.”

“For the first time in my career, I’m able to save money and that’s not a thing for a chef at all,” says executive pastry chef Emily Young with a laugh.

The secret sauce is a simple line added to the receipt – “cooking advice”.

This is an opportunity for customers to show their gratitude, not only to the waiters, but to those who work hard in the back.

“We have raised around $ 20,000 since opening about 3 and a half weeks ago. It all comes down to the kitchen staff, ”said 5th Street Group Regional Culinary Director Chef Adam Hodgson. “And then on a company-wide basis, if we stay at the current pace, we’ll clear $ 700,000 by next week for five restaurants.”

Young says it’s a sweet treat she never expected.

“I plan to earn an additional $ 15,000 per year from home. “

Typical kitchen salaries range from $ 18 to $ 21 an hour.

“The lowest paid hourly employee in my kitchen makes home $ 25 an hour,” Hodgson explains.

That was exactly the goal of the “Tip the Kitchen” initiative, creating competitive salaries and a sense of worth that helps retain talent.

“The more staff I have, the more we can grow. The longer they stay with us, the more I can train them, the more I can make them do bigger and better things and expand their careers, ”Hodgson said.

It’s a simple change, with a thoughtful goal, that ultimately saves the business more money.

“I really hope that this spreads and that it’s not just something our restaurant is doing,” Young says, “that it kind of turns into a change in restaurant standards in general.”

Hodgson agrees, “Walking into my kitchen every day, I have smiles on all of my cooks’ faces, and their morale is high, which greatly affects the product they are making.


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