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TGI Fridays CEO said Democrats' plan to eliminate the $2.13 minimum for tipped wages would hurt restaurant staff and guests

TGI Fridays CEO said Democrats' plan to eliminate the $2.13 minimum for tipped wages would hurt restaurant staff and guests

TGI Friday's CEO Ray Blanchette
TGI Fridays





Top Democrats have proposed gradually phasing out the $2.13 baseline wage for tipped workers.




TGI Fridays CEO Ray Blanchette told Insider raising the tipped minimum wage would be "just optics."




Raising the federal minimum wage to $15 would end up helping tipped workers, he said.




Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.


Following President Joe Biden's calls during the campaign to end the tipped subminimum wage, top Democrats proposed a bill after his inauguration last month that would gradually phase out the $2.13 baseline wage for tipped workers.But TGI Fridays CEO Ray Blanchette said tipped wages allow servers to make more than the minimum wage, while people in the kitchen working non-customer facing jobs do not. Without tipped wages, all restaurant workers would split gratuity evenly, which he said goes against "the spirit of what the guest intended."Blanchette said eliminating tipped wages would hurt both restaurant staff and guests.Blanchette added raising the federal minimum wage would allow tipped workers to make more money, anyway, as the Department of Labor requires employers to pay these employees the federal minimum wage if they don't earn enough tips. Democrats have proposed to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2025.
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