When we reopened in 2020 after months of being shut down there were a lot of changes. We could only seat at half-capacity. All our weekly events had to be cancelled. We had to quarantine games, add carry-out and delivery… and so much more.
As you all knew already RPG is not just another restaurant and bar. Our staff also helps you navigate a library of over 1,000 board games. They support events at RPG almost nightly throughout the week, from trivia, to Adventurers League, to board game nights, member nights, and more. They make sure that our members are provided for when they come in our door… our staff does so much more than a typical restaurant and bar and has does it without complaint.
With COVID-19 we had to ask our staff to step up again and be a crucial part in all of the new changes, we required more of them than ever before to make everyone feel comfortable, sanitary, and safe at RPG.
We did not see how this was fair or right for us to ask even more of them at just $2.13 an hour, especially when people weren’t going out. There were no tips to go around.
With that: On May 20th, 2020, we made it official that all hourly staff would be paid a living wage, starting at $15 an hour, and in lieu of tips and to support our staff we would be adding a 15% hospitality fee to all orders. You read that right. RPG staff is no longer reliant on tips.
This decision was not made lightly. We had been discussing making a change like this for a long time, but it became clear that if we wanted to take care of the people that take care of you we needed to make changes to help them get through 2020. We are proud of our staff and wanted them to be proud to serve you.
We felt this was the right move and the right time to show those that work alongside us day in and day out that they are worthy of a livable wage and a stable paycheck. We hope you support this as well.
Then again, on April 11th 2022 we listened to you, the community. So many of you had reached out to us, through reviews, through emails, through personal communication and more that you wanted to tip. That you felt 15% was not enough for our staff.
So, we brought the tip line back. Making it clear that there was absolutely no obligation to tip. The 15% Hospitality Fee and living wage remains at RPG, but for those of you that wish to give more… you now can.
If you have questions, please email us directly at email@example.com, we will be happy to answer them, and thank you for continually supporting our restaurant and our community.
The RPG ownership team
Nate, Betsy, Meghan, and Matt
A hospitality fee is a fee added to your bill and replaces any typical tip structure. Our hospitality fee is 15% and is added pre-tax so that the fee is lower for our guests.
Out the gate the 15% goes entirely to our staff, allowing us to increase their wages so they can pay their bills, starting at $15 an hour. But it does not remotely cover all of our labor costs.
The math is simple. For each staff member we will need to make $100 an hour to have the 15% Hospitality Fee pay their hourly wage. That’s for one staff member, but we have cooks, dishwashers, hosts… not to mention our managers, chef, etc.
In the end, the goal of the hospitality fee is to be a benefit to our staff, however that my look.
No longer does our staff have to cater to those that may make them feel unsafe just to secure a tip.
No longer do they lack agency when they know RPG’s policies and their own level of comfort and know that, sometimes, the customer isn’t right.
No longer do they have to make sure they work the weekends just to pay the bills. If they are only available to work Tuesdays they know that their paycheck will be the same.
They can rely on a steady paycheck week after week, and peace of mind.
The fee is added to all orders because our kitchen staff is working just as hard to serve you whether or not the order is for carry-out, delivery, or full service. This Hospitality Fee is supports all of our staff.
If we are going to pay $15 an hour we have higher expectations from those we bring on at RPG. It means we keep our team small, but ready to jump in when needed.
It means we also removed all positions from RPG and boiled it down to two: Front of House and Back of House. One night our line cook might be doing the dishes, one night a server may be running the bar, or bussing tables, but everyone is being paid the same, no matter what the job may be.
This officially went into effect on May 20th, 2020.
There will not be any requirement to do so nor any expectation, however, on April 11th, 2022 we did bring the tip line back after an outpouring of requests from the community wishing that they could give more than 15%.
We want to be very clear that, unlike most restaurants, TIPPING IS NOT AN OBLIGATION. Our staff is not reliant on them and the hospitality fee will remain so we can continue to pay our staff a living wage.