Service Charge Replacing Tips
Sundara has replaced tipping with a service charge (18% for dine-in, 15% for delivery and 5% for takeout). The entirety of this service charge will be paid to servers, drivers, cooks and dishwashers.
We are doing this so that our wage structure can be more equitable across all the restaurant roles, which will become increasingly difficult with a rising minimum wage and other mandates. All of our employees have always earned significantly more than the minimum wage including tips. In fact, the waitstaff are the only employees who nominally make the minimum wage but they have the highest effective hourly pay rate when including tips (about double the minimum wage). By taking this action now, we can continue to pay all our employees well and distribute total pay more equitably among all staff.
You may have noticed that some restaurants have added a “surcharge” of 3% to 5%, some have increased menu prices slightly but left tipping in place, some have increased prices significantly and eliminated tipping, and some have replaced tipping with a service charge. We believe this last option is the best because it allows the customer to accurately understand the true cost of their meal and service without dramatically changing the menu prices they are used to seeing. For our average customer, the total amount of a meal with the service charge will remain about the same as it was for the meal plus tip.
We greatly appreciate your continued support of Sundara over the last five years and we thank you for your understanding as we make this transition. If you have any feedback or additional questions please contact us.