On July 7, The News & Observer published an opinion piece by Nicholas Stroud, partner at Belltree Cocktail Club in Carrboro, which became certified as one of our living wage employers in June.
Here’s an excerpt:
“For too long, service jobs have been seen as transitory or ‘less than.’ These are some of the hardest working people, tackling some of the most customer service-oriented jobs out there. It is time we paid them what they deserve for helping to make our businesses profitable. Within the service industry of Orange and Chatham counties, a tipped living wage has always been easy to earn by restaurant and bar workers because we live and work in a relatively wealthy area. But a living wage is just that: Living. It doesn’t necessarily mean you are thriving. Nor does it mean you are saving money for emergencies or future goals, especially when you factor our area’s cost of living. So, while many employers in food and beverage average out the old formula of $2.13/hour plus tips to determine whether their employees are making a living wage, we at Belltree Cocktail Club in Carrboro do not. We now pay our employees the requisite $15.85 per hour plus their tips. We do not hold back any of their tips. We hope that other food and beverage businesses will do the same.”
We appreciate the Belltree team’s desire to spread the word about the importance of paying a living wage!