Michael Landgarten’s Jan. 31 opinion piece, “Federal proposal to let restaurant owners disburse tips is unfair, absurd” pontificates about a hot topic and misleads Mainers to feel that they will be in jeopardy when they will not.

First of all, Landgarten’s eatery doesn’t even have table service; it’s a counter-service restaurant, making it an entirely different business model than the one he discusses.

Landgarten claims implementing “One Fair Wage” would be “best for everyone.” False. If Langarten spoke to any of the more than 5,000 restaurant servers in Maine who last year vigorously fought against eliminating the tipped minimum wage (known as the tip credit), he would know most servers don’t agree with this plan because it actually means less income for them.

And since Maine server’s won the battle to reinstate the tip credit last year, the Department of Labor’s proposal to reinstate tip pooling wouldn’t even affect Maine, making Landgarten’s op-ed even more irrelevant.

Landgarten seems to be affiliated with the left-leaning Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC), a union front group who lobbies for higher minimum wage policies for service industry employees. ROC likes to tout Hollywood actors as their spokespeople when advocating for tipped employees, without speaking with actual servers first. As a founding member of the recently formed Restaurant Workers of America, an organization with members who actually work as servers and bartenders, we believe that the tip credit best ensures prosperity for service industry employees. And we will continue to push back against ROC and their front groups.

Wendyll Caisse


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