A responsible and socially conscious restaurant owner
A good businessperson understands that any business is really a symbiotic relationship between the owners of the business, the employees, and the customers. The failure of any one of those legs means a failed business or a predatory business. Most American corporations do not understand that. They have been successful because of the chains business currently have on employees legitimized by bought government supported policies.
Bar Marco owner Justin Steel gets it. He devised a plan to bring his restaurant to the 21st century. Steel decided to treat his employees as the professionals they are in the restaurant business. He decided to eliminate tips, which for most patrons is a voluntary must. He will provide healthcare and 10 days vacation for every employee. No employee will work more than 44 hours a week. Employee salaries will start at $35,000 a year. Tips left by patrons anyway will be donated to a charity (a likely tax offset for the business).
$35,000 may not be a lot of money. In fact some waiters may clear that or more with tips. Bar Marco is bringing much more however. Vacation and healthcare are a form of income as well. Additionally, Steel is bringing consistency to his employees and his business. As one of his employees said, it brings consistency and determinism. It allows him to plan his life.
Justin Steel answer to Ed Schultz question about making the policy work was perfect. “It comes down to our employees,” Justin Steel said. “An efficient restaurant can run at about 10% net profit. Roughly 25% goes into cost of goods sold, 25% to employees, 40% making up overhead and you scrape by with 10%. We are going to take our employee cost and those are going to go up a little bit. But what we are going to do to kind of counter act that is we are going to put a lot of value into our kitchen and our food cost are going to go down slightly to make up the difference there.”
That answer is important. It shows that the restaurant owner moves the employee from being a commodity to an important leg in the business by adjusting other factors to ensure humane and fair treatment of the employee. The problem with most corporations is that employees are simply a commodity while shareholders and owners take preeminence for using their capital.