DENVER (KDVR) — Casa Bonita’s no-tip pay compares well to the metro area.
Axios Denver reported Casa Bonita changed compensation schedules for wait and bar staff from tipped to non-tipped. Formerly, wait and bar staff would make $14.27 or $15.27 an hour plus tips. Before the grand reopening, employees were asked to sign new contracts that dropped tips entirely but raised the wage to $30 an hour. A Casa Bonita spokeswoman confirmed to Axios that the restaurant was indeed changing its compensation system based on beta testing.
At $30 an hour, Casa Bonita staff would be making a few dollars more than Colorado’s median wage across all occupations. The median wage across 700 different occupation types in the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood area was $26.96 as of May 2020, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
Over the course of a year, a full-time employee getting paid $30 an hour will bring in about $62,000 in total pay.
Restaurants have experimented with various no-tip policies in the U.S. since the 1920s, generally to mixed reactions from the public who don’t want to pay higher prices and workers who would rely on tips. Axios reported Casa Bonita believes the no-tip model will work best with its unique customer payment model, which has an all-inclusive entry fee rather than menu prices.
The restaurant’s management said most employees appreciated the change.
“During our soft-opening nights, we found that guests simply weren’t tipping,” wrote Casa Bonita management in a statement to KDVR. “We believe that’s due to our unconventional, pre-pay ticketing system. In order to provide a higher-than-average, dependable wage, we shifted to a no-tipping model and doubled the hourly rate to more than $30/hr for our service staff. This shift also benefits our guests, who can enjoy Casa Bonita without incurring unexpected costs. Of our 256 employees, 93 were a part of the shift and a total of 2 were unhappy about it.”
There are 25 occupations that make a median hourly wage between $25.50 and $30.50 in the Denver metro, including: licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses; surgical technologists; telecommunications line installers and repairers; insurance sales agents; occupational therapy assistants; service unit operators, oil and gas; computer, automated teller, and office machine repairers; tax examiners and collectors, and revenue agents; media and communication workers; mechanical drafters; librarians and media collections specialists; curators; gambling managers; engineering technologists and technicians, except drafters; executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants; mechanical engineering technologists and technicians; arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations; bailiffs; graphic designers; foresters; probation officers and correctional treatment specialists; water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators; physical therapist assistants; mobile heavy equipment mechanics, except engines; arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators; bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists.