More security in tipped workers’ wages

For many of the workers on 39th street’s restaurant row, a new year means a higher paycheck.

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- For many of the workers on 39th street’s restaurant row, a new year means a higher paycheck.

But for customers, it could mean higher prices, something people said they wouldn’t mind.

The women behind the counter at Mud Pie Vegan Bakery kept the coffee coming for a full house.

Frothing milk and pushing out drinks means tips for baristas.

And starting this week, tipped workers will see more security in their wages.

“It’s probably difficult to maintain a livelihood on just how generous people are,” said Shweta Vadlamani, customer at Mud Pie.

“Tipped workers, right now make half of what minimum wage is, and that will not change,” voiced Wilson Vance, Outreach Organizer for Prop B Campaign.

But if their tips don’t get workers to the new 8-60 minimum wage, employers have to make up the difference.

Down the street from Mud Pie is Jazz Cajun Kitchen.

The owner of the Kansas City staple says his employees make more than minimum wage already.

“Where it does affect me is in the servers, the waiters and waitresses, they get a tip credit rate. They make a lot of money in tips, and they are almost like contract employees,” explained Vic Allred, owner of Jazz a Louisiana kitchen.

Allred also says the minimum wage could drive prices up at restaurants.

Vadlamani was with friends at Mud Pie Tuesday.

She says the minimum wage hike is a good thing for workers.

And the potential price increases don’t bother her.

“I would support them by paying a little extra,” said Vadlamani.

At this point, KCTV5 has not found any restaurants in the Kansas City area that will raise prices to cover the new minimum wage.

Workers in Missouri will see a $12 minimum wage by 2023.

Copyright 2018 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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