Thoughts on the New Minimum Wage

For those who do not know, the federal minimum wage recently went up to $6.55/hr and will increase to $7.25 this time next year.  Great, that’s fine.  However, the server minimum wage remains the same $2.13/hour that it has been since 1991.

First, there is no moral justification for paying servers less than any other profession.  The whole, “they make their money from tips” thing just doesn’t wash.  Not unless the government is going to pass a law that says if you don’t tip 20% regardless of service then you spend a night in the poky.  And a law like that is just as crazy as a law that says CEO’s, salesmen, and retail manager’s can receive bonuses that are separate from their salary, but servers have to chose one or the other.

Servers should make the same minimum as any other profession and then tipping can go back to being what is was supposed to be, a bonus for a job well done.  As the law stands now not tipping is against the law, however the government punishes the victim rather than the offender.  You see server’s still have to pay taxes on tips even if they don’t get them.  And in today’s economy they are not getting any.  The restaurant server is an endangered species in America.

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Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards
2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up
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