‘Everybody’s got to get paid’: Restaurant requires 20% gratuity for all orders

National

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Desperate to keep workers, one Myrtle Beach restaurant is now adding 20% gratuity to every check.

SOHO in Myrtle Beach told News13 that a tip will already be added on the bill regardless of party size. Typically a 20% gratuity is added to checks if there’s a party of six or more.

“Thank you so much for the opportunity, you know, I’ve been doing my very best, but I can’t work an 8-hour shift with making $40,” John Maloney said, repeating what he said a long-time employee told him moments before nearly calling it quits.

“After we opened back up, people are treating their money differently,” Maloney said. He said fewer tips are what prompted the required 20% gratuity to every check. They posted signs on the doors at both Myrtle Beach locations in March.

“For $40 or $50, 20% is not that much,” said Richard Turner, a customer at SOHO. Turner said he usually tips 20% or more.

“These kids, they work hard to do it. They, you know — I don’t see anything wrong with — I don’t see anything wrong with it,” he said.

Maloney said most of the servers at SOHO are college students working to pay for school. With staff shortages and businesses trying to rebound from pandemic shortages, it’s a fair move, he said.

“Since doing that we’ve had our staff come to us and say, ‘hey I feel comfortable knowing that I’m at least going to see some money coming home,'” Maloney said. He said management has made adjustments on the back end to help, but this is what’s keeping the doors open.

“Everybody’s got to get paid,” Maloney said. “You know before this COVID time it was not unheard of that ‘hey you know I made $15 on my lunch shift and I was there about four, five, six hours. So that shouldn’t be happening any more,” he said.

This is the first time SOHO has required gratuity for individual checks. Maloney hopes when federal COVID assistance ends, he will be able to end the required gratuity and get back to normal.

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