Chicago restaurant paying staff more to make up for loss in tips

As bars and restaurants face the brunt of the economic impact of COVID-19, a new problem has emerged.

Employers have to get creative to cover the losses in tips for their employees.


Big Jones in Andersonville -- known for their southern cuisine -- is showing southern hospitality in the way they treat their staff. The restaurant got rid of tips and is paying their employees hourly wages because during the pandemic, people are not tipping like they used to.

The hourly wage is now $18 to $25 an hour depending on experience. Kitchen staff also got an increase from $16 to $20 per hour.

The restaurant also added a 20 percent service fee to dine-in bills and orders placed with a live person, and 10 percent to online orders.

Restaurants all over are getting creative. Redwood Luxe Bar and Grill in Olympia Fields added a 15 percent surcharge to all orders and increased their prices on online deliveries to pay their staff more.

Many restaurants believe this could be the new normal where wait staff receive more in hourly pay.