Starting in 2022, we are changing the payment structure at A&J King Artisan Bakers to include a 14% administrative fee to all transactions, in lieu of gratuity/tipping. This fee is not a tip, gratuity, or service charge for our front of house staff. This administrative fee will go toward supplementing wages for all our employees, excluding ownership. By changing from gratuity to this fee, we can provide an equitable distribution to all employees - front of house, back of house, delivery drivers, dishers, packers.... everyone. The bakery is very much a 24-hour relay race and cannot function if any leg of the race is not complete.
Why not just share tips?
Massachusetts is one of two states in the nation that does not allow tips to be shared between the Front and Back of the house. Until there is a change in the law in Massachusetts, we are choosing to utilize this pay structure. A lot of work – from prep, to production, packing, to delivery, cleaning, ringing up, and handing the product to the customer – goes into what we do. It’s truly a team effort, and we want rising tides to raise all ships in our little harbor.
For example, we are a 24-hour bakery, and therefore we have a crew of key employees that work overnight – the folks that make sure our product is packed and delivered to where you can purchase them - and they are often not seen. Without their commitment to these shifts the bakery would not be able to run as intended, and yet under current law they are not eligible to receive gratuity.
Since our business is multi-faceted, in addition to this fee for our retail customers we are implementing a delivery charge to our wholesale customers in order to compliment this administrative fee.
Why are you doing this?
We think that it is important to work toward pay equity and continue to provide a living wage to all our employees (as raw ingredient prices skyrocket) as well as benefits. We also would like all of our employees to be able to budget accurately and know what to expect in their paychecks, since seasonal changes provide a considerable swing in how busy we are – let alone pandemic-related closures, etc. There are many challenges to running a business – and labor cost is high among them. Still, it is our priority to continue to work toward raising the wages of all our employees and paying them the most we can while running a healthy business.
So why don’t we just raise our prices?
While we could simply raise our prices on our menu items across the board and use the income the same exact way, we want this process to be completely transparent to our employees and customers. These fees are our way to demonstrate directly where our core beliefs lie, and precisely where your support goes. Without the implementation of this model, we would still be bound by MA law, and would not be able to include our back of house staff in any gratuities or tip sharing. So essentially, we are “raising our prices,” but doing so in a way that is transparent and truly beneficial to all employees.
Will employees make less than they were previously making before we implemented this administrative fee?
We expect our employees will make $3+ per hour above their current wage, which means all employees should make a minimum of $17.25/hr at the bakery. These estimates will be updated as real data comes in.
Does all of the Administrative Fee go to staff?
Yes, all the Administrative Fee is dispersed and accounted for into non-ownership labor wages and labor expenses each pay period.
We thank you for your support of our bakery and our mission to make high-quality bakery/food service work a viable and satisfying career for those who are drawn to it.
If you are purchasing in-store, we can remove this charge if requested at the time of purchase. If your order is placed online, we can refund the fee after you place you order. Please call (978) 744-4881, or email firstname.lastname@example.org after placing your order.