A downtown Salt Lake City coffee shop has recently captured national attention after its owner announced a significant change: eliminating tipping while simultaneously raising employees’ wages and adjusting beverage prices.
Nick Price, the proprietor of Three Pines Coffee situated at 165 S. Main St., shared the news via Instagram in late December, with the new policies taking effect on January 1st.
In the Instagram post, Three Pines Coffee stated their belief that these changes would not only improve the lives of their exceptional team but also contribute to fostering a more positive and equitable coffee culture within their community.
Among the notable changes is a substantial increase in wages for all employees, raising the base pay from $8 to $18 per hour. This adjustment reflects MIT’s Living Wage Calculator, which indicates $18 as the livable wage for an adult in Salt Lake County without dependents.
Additionally, the price of coffee has seen an uptick of approximately 20%, or roughly an additional dollar per cup, according to Price’s conversation with The Salt Lake Tribune.
Another significant change is the removal of the option to tip when paying with a credit card, a practice that had been customary at Three Pines Coffee since its establishment in 2017.
Price cited inspiration from Danny Meyer’s book, “Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business,” along with his own experience of “tipping fatigue” as motivations behind this decision. He recounted instances where he was prompted to leave a tip at self-serve establishments, prompting him to question the prevalence of tipping culture.
By eliminating tipping and boosting employee wages, Price ensures a more consistent income for his staff year-round. Previously, employees experienced fluctuations in earnings between slow winter months and busy summers, a disparity that Price found concerning.
The removal of the tipping option from the payment screen not only streamlines the customer experience but also enhances transparency. Prices displayed on Three Pines Coffee’s menu now encompass all costs, including taxes and processing fees, ensuring that every barista receives a livable wage.
Read more: West Bend Coffee Percolator Review
While acknowledging that some customers may feel their tipping rights have been revoked, Price emphasizes his commitment to creating an environment where employees receive fair compensation without relying on tips.
Zion Tuiasoa, a barista at Three Pines, shared her initial apprehension about the change but noted a positive shift in her experience. With consistent wages, she feels more financially secure and valued in her role, enabling her to view coffee as a career rather than just a job.
In conclusion, Three Pines Coffee’s decision to eliminate tipping and increase wages reflects a dedication to fairness, transparency, and employee well-being. By pioneering this initiative, the café sets a precedent for fostering a more equitable and sustainable hospitality industry.